Cycling activity analysis for occupational therapists

I have carried out an occupational therapist’s activity analysis for a person riding along a road on a 2-wheeled cycle. You can see it in this document. It covers   cognitive, perceptual, motor, psychological and social aspects.

This document also includes psychosocial and environmental considerations, and how to grade the activity if it’s not a “just right challenge”.

Psychosocial considerations

These include:

  •  the perception that cycling is dangerous can put people off.
  • although cycling may not be culturally acceptable for some (because it may be seen to mean you can’t afford a car) it is seen as good for others as it is relatively cheap, environmentally friendly and reduces waits at bus stops. Also cycling is easier than walking for many people.
  • if a person has had an incident involving a cycle they may be nervous of cycling again.

Environmental considerations

These include:

  • the busy-ness of a road with motor traffic may make it too frightening to considering riding on. Parks and traffic free routes are a suitable alternative until someone is more confident.
  • the quality of the road surface eg. pot holes can require greater agility and/ or concentration.
  • weather needs to be considered. The road surface may be wet and slippy or there may be poor visibility due to fog at the start or during the ride, all requiring greater cycling confidence and/ or concentration.
  • when cycling, there is a constant need to watch for pedestrians stepping off the pavement without looking, and children e.g. walking to/from school, not paying attention to other road users. There is also a need to watch for car doors being opened into the road.

Not a “just right challenge”?

To make the challenge easier:

  • you can adapt it by:
    • using different kinds of cycles such as various trikes, recumbents, handcycles, tandems, quad bikes.
    • cycling with someone else or in a group.
  • or you can remediate it by:
    • using different kinds of cycles such as various trikes, recumbents, handcycles, tandems, quad bikes.
    • starting on a quieter road or ride a bike in a park or along a motor traffic free route
    • cycling with someone else or in a group.

To make the challenge more difficult, you can

  • Make it a busier road
  • Add in junctions from minor to major roads, from major to minor roads, turning both left and right
  • Add in traffic lights (easy and complex), turning left, right and going straight on
  • Add in roundabouts (small and large), turning left and right, and going straight-ahead
  • Add in over-taking
  • Make it a new journey, requiring map reading skills
  • Organise a bike ride for friends, family
  • Do the shopping
  • Pick up the children from school, to carry in a child seat or on their own bikes
  • Ride to work/ a friend’s house/ bingo/ the café / the park/ the takeaway
  • Fix flat tyres or brakes if not working
  • Make it a journey at night, requiring the use of lights
  • Make it an overnight journey, requiring the booking of accommodation
  • Use a trailer to carry luggage.

If you’re interested in becoming a cycle trainer using national training standards you can visit the Bikeability website to find a training providers.

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