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This study examined the change in behavioral stages (e.g. contemplation, action and maintenance) of cycling to university before and after the implementation of a new public bicycle share program (PBSP) and promotion of its use. The study also determined the change in the prevalence, correlates of PBSP use and potential role in the promotion of healthy weight. An 8-month follow-up cross-sectional study (September 2010–April 2011) was carried out among undergraduate students during the first season of implementation of the PBSP in Valencia, Spain. The sample was 173 students (68.2% female) with a mean age of 21.3 years (SD 3.06) who attended a PBSP promotional session. The data were collected by questionnaire. Results indicated a significant increase of 14.6% in the action/maintenance stage of change and showed that 19% of the participants were PBSP users 8 months later. The behavioral stage did not change when students always had access to car/motorbike, lived further than 5 km from the university and had no bicycle stations within 250 m from home. Those most likely to start using PBSP were students who were in the contemplation stage, perceived fewer environmental and safety barriers to active commuting and had one or more stations within 250 m of home. PBSP users expended ∼257 metabolic equivalent·minutes/week bicycling to university, and there was a small reduction in BMI. Findings suggest that PBSPs can be considered as useful promoters of cycling behavior and may contribute to weight control in university students.


Institute for Health and Ageing

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Journal Article

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