This second report – entitled “Health-related Quality of Life of Habitual Recreational Off-Road Vehicle Riders” (Health & Fitness Journal of Canada 3.1 (2010)) – is the first study of this scope exploring quality of life issues of off-road riders. A secondary purpose was to compare the levels of mental and physical functioning Quality of Life (QOL) of recreational off-road vehicle riders to Canadian population norms.
In order to characterize the health, fitness and quality of life, of people who ride recreational off-road vehicles, Jamie F. Burr, and his team at York University’s Physical Activity and Chronic Disease Unit, Faculty of Health surveyed 310 habitual off-road riders from across Canada. A second group of 141 riders from Ontario and Quebec completed the SF-36 questionnaire (Canadian Physical Activity Fitness and Lifestyle Assessment) to further characterize the self-perceived health of riders and to identify habitual (regular user) ride characteristics and physically demanding tasks/experiences associated with riding motorcycles and ATVs.
In summarizing the results of the survey and the SF-36”, Burr determined, that overall, habitual off- road riders had higher levels of physical functioning than Canadian population norms and that it was possible that the higher levels of vitality, general happiness and quality of life of recreational off- road vehicle riders is a consequence of participation in the sport.
“Research has consistently shown that physical activity increases independent living in older adults.” stated Liz Jansen, Chair of the Motorcyclists Confederation of Canada (MCC). Jansen added, “Non- traditional forms of physical activity such as recreational ORM riding are becoming increasingly popular among segments of the population for whom traditional forms of physical activity (ie: jogging, swimming, resistance training) are impractical, unavailable or unappealing.”
“Health and exercise are top of mind for most families and for the health care system in Canada.” added All-Terrain Quad Council of Canada (AQCC), President Danny Gagnon. “This study proves what our ATV club members have been saying all along -- that being out on the trails on your ATV is not only fun but contributes to individual and family emotional well-being and physical fitness.”
The COHV and its member companies: 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 the results of this study are a great resource to be shared with those who question OHVs as a healthy recreational activity.