Canadian Off-Highway Vehicle Distributors Council (COHV)

Canadian Off-Highway Vehicle Distributors Council (COHV)

July 18, 2007 13:00 ET

COHV: York University to Conduct First Ever National Study on the Health Benefits of Recreational Off-Road Vehicle Riding

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - July 18, 2007) - The Canadian Off-Highway Vehicle Distributors Council (COHV) and its funding partners the All-Terrain Quad Council of Canada (AQCC) and the Motorcyclist Confederation of Canada (MCC) are pleased to announce that they are initiating a national in-depth study on the Fitness and Health Benefits of Recreational Off-Road Vehicle (OHV) riding.

"A recent pilot study completed by the Ontario Federation of Trail Riders (OFTR) provided encouraging evidence that off-road motorcycling is a physically active sport that has the potential to result in improvements in physical fitness," stated Bob Ramsay, President of the COHV. "Because of these preliminary findings, the COHV believes that it is important to move forward with a national health benefit study that includes both off-highway motorcycle and all-terrain vehicle riders."

Professor Norman Gledhill, PhD of York University and his team will carry out the national in-depth study on the Fitness and Health Benefits of Recreational Off-Road Vehicle (OHV) riding. The study will involve tests that measure the physical demands of off-road motorcycle and all terrain vehicle riding by measuring the physiological responses (heart rate, oxygen consumption and rating of exertion) of a representative sample of 200 habitual recreational riders during off-road motorcycle and all terrain vehicle riding.

The study will further assess the fitness and health characteristics (body composition, musculoskeletal fitness, aerobic fitness, back fitness, physical activity participation, lifestyle characteristics, health characteristics and quality of life characteristics) of this same representative sample of participants.

"We all recognize that exercise and stress relief are key to our general health," commented Ramsay. "Not everyone likes going to a gym, running or an indoor environment of physical fitness. There are so many people who get their energy from the outdoors and we need to recognize that what one person enjoys should not be discounted because it doesn't fit into another person's definition of physical activity."

The COHV and its member companies such as: Arctic Cat, BRP (Can-Am), Honda, Kawasaki, KTM, Polaris, Suzuki and Yamaha are committed to family recreation and healthy, active life styles. We believe that once concluded, the results of this study will be a great opportunity for OHV recreational riders to prove that being out on the trails is not only fun but contributes to individual and family well-being and physical fitness.

The Canadian Off-Highway Vehicle Distributors Council, originally founded in 1984, is a national, non-profit, trade association, which represents the responsible interests of the major ATV and OHV manufacturers, distributors and retail outlets of OHV-related products and services in Canada. Find out more at: www.cohv.ca.

BACKGROUNDER:

Aim:

To provide statistically supported evidence from a representative sample of 16 to 65 year old habitual recreational off-road vehicle riders (using focus group interviews and follow-up survey questionnaires) to define "typical" off-road motorcycle and all terrain vehicle riding.

There will be a total of 200 participants taking part in the study and will be broken down into the following demographics: Motorcycle: 16 male, 16 female in each of the following age groups 16-29, 30-49, 50-65. ATV: 16 male, 16 female in each of the following age groups 16-29, 30-49, 50-65.

Outcome:

A rank-ordered list of the most commonly encountered terrains covered during recreational off-road vehicle riding, together with detailed information on customary frequency of riding, total riding time per week and percent of riding time during which various terrains are encountered.

Rationale:

This analysis will provide statistical evidence to support the "representativeness" of the "rides" that are utilized to characterize the demands of off-road riding in the remainder of the project together with a profile of habitual recreational off-road vehicle riders aged 16-65 years.

Methods:

Heart rates will be measured with Polar heart rate (HR) monitors using electrodes held against the skin by an adjustable chest strap. This allows heart rate to be recorded continuously while the participant is moving freely. The chest strap communicates wirelessly to a wristwatch that records HR for the entire duration of the testing period, then this is downloaded following the recording period to a computer for analysis. Based on experience gained from the pilot study, the sampling frequency of the HR monitor will be set at 5-second intervals to avoid "noise" in the data.

Oxygen consumption (VO2) will be measured using portable metabolic units that monitor both the ventilation and oxygen extraction while allowing the participant unrestricted movement. Participants will wear a modified safety helmet into which a mouthpiece and small mass flow sensor will be fitted.

Body composition will be determined using skin fold calipers to measure the thickness of specified skin fold sites on the body (the sites vary between the sexes) along with waist circumference. Based on the sum of the skin fold calculations, gender-specific equations will be used to determine percent body fat and lean body mass. Composite body composition scores will be calculated according to the Canadian Physical Activity Fitness and Lifestyle Approach (CPAFLA) protocol.

Contact Information

  • Canadian Off-Highway Vehicle Distributors Council (COHV)
    Jo-Anne Farquhar
    Manager of Communications
    (416) 491-4439 or Toll Free: 1-877-470-2288
    Email: jfarquhar@cohv.ca
    Website: www.cohv.ca