C-12 Free Communication/Slide - Active Transport: Getting There: MAY 28, 2009 8:00 AM - 10:00 AM ROOM: 611
PURPOSE: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's World Health Organization, Collaborating Center for Physical Activity and Health Promotion, Andes University, Pan American Health Organization and Ciclovias Unidas of the Americas Network, conducted a systematic review of recreational ciclovias. Ciclovias were defined as regularly occurring community-based programs in which at least 1 kilometer of streets are temporary closed to motorized transport and opened to pedestrians, cyclists and skaters for at least 2 days per month. The review was conducted to determine if Ciclovias are a viable public health and public policy strategy in Latin America for improving health and quality of life in communities, and to assess next steps for research, evaluation and public health practice.
METHODS: The review included scientific databases, web sources, Mayor's offices, Sports and Health Secretaries, news papers, unpublished articles and consultations with experts. In addition a survey of 83 members of the Physical Activity Network of the Americas (RAFA) from 19 countries was conducted at the RAFA annual meeting in 2008.
RESULTS: From 55 ciclovias found in the Americas, 38 met our criteria and were included in the review, Most (83.8%) are implemented in urban settings; but six rural municipalities have also adopted the strategy. Communities ranged in size from Sao Paul with 10+million inhabitants to communities with less than 200,000.
Length and duration also varied, ranging from more than 120 km for 7 hours on most Sundays to 1km for 2 hours every other Sunday. The average distance was 15.6km, and the median duration was equivalent to about 330 minutes per year. It is estimated that an average of 78,384 people participate in Ciclovía programs each week.
CONCLUSIONS: Preliminary evidence suggests a positive association between Ciclovias and public health: environment, quality of life, Non Communicable Diseases prevention, social mobilization and social capital. To fully understand the health and other benefits of Ciclovias, a comprehensive evaluation with appropriate baseline and outcome data are needed. This evaluation should include participation from many sectors including public health, transportation, urban planning, sports and recreation, environment and architecture.