Study looks at the health benefits of off-road riding

Evidently, ATV and off-road riding is much more than just fun, it’s also good for your body and soul.

That’s the preliminary findings from a York University report.

The purpose of the research was to characterize the physiological demands of recreational off-road vehicle (ORV) riding under typical ORV riding conditions using recreation riders.

“This ground-breaking, first-ever comprehensive scientific probe of the fitness and health benefits of ATV and ORM recreational riding proves that riding creates sufficient opportunity to stimulate changes in aerobic fitness and falls within the physical activity guidelines of both Health Canada and the American College of Sports Medicine,” said Bob Ramsay, president of Canada’s Motorcycle & Moped Industry Council.

Study analysis of exercise intensity during riding revealed “approximately 14 percent of an ATV ride and 38 percent of an off-road motorcycle ride are within the intensity range required to achieve changes in aerobic fitness. Riding on a representative course also led to muscular fatigue, particularly in the upper body.”

Jamie Burr of York University’s Faculty of Health, which is conducting the study, said, “On the basis of the measured metabolic demands, evidence of muscular strength requirements, and the associated caloric expenditures with off-road vehicle riding, this alternative form of activity conforms to the recommended physical activity guidelines and can be effective for achieving beneficial changes in health and fitness.”

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