A research team found an increased likelihood of cycling participation in people with lower-limb amputations with the use of a dynamic foot, a higher number of facilitators, and no other underlying diseases. In the Netherlands, where the participants were located, most adults cycled after a lower-limb amputation, mainly for recreational purposes.
To identify barriers and facilitators related to cycling participation, 207 adults with unilateral lower-limb amputations completed a questionnaire between March and August 2019 to obtain information regarding prosthesis, individual characteristics, amputation, cycling barriers and facilitators, and prosthetic satisfaction. Participants (71 percent men) had a mean age of 62 years ± 13 years. The most frequent level of amputation was transtibial (42 percent), and trauma was the most frequent cause of amputation (43 percent).
One hundred forty-one participants (68 percent) cycled for recreation (80 percent), physical fitness (74 percent), and transportation (50 percent). In the prior six months, cyclists cycled for recreation (79 percent) and transportation (66 percent). Most cycled less than once a day. Recreational cyclists cycled alone (75 percent) for a median duration of 45 minutes or 14 kilometers per ride. Cyclists with a transportation purpose usually cycled to go shopping (80 percent) or to visit friends (68 percent), with a median duration of 20 minutes or five kilometers per ride.
Cyclists reported more facilitators than non-cyclists. Most cyclists reported a positive attitude toward cycling (89 percent) and cycled because of health benefits (81 percent). The presence of underlying diseases negatively predicted cycling.
The researchers suggested that personal motivation and a higher mobility level could be the key to increasing cycling participation.
The study, “Cycling in people with a lower limb amputation,” was published in BMC Sports Science, Medicine and Rehabilitation.