Cycling Charity Challenge Events: Can they contribute to the lifestyle medicine movement?
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Many developed countries, including Australia, are experiencing an increase in lifestyle-related disease such as obesity, heart disease, and mental distress. A new model of health care known as lifestyle medicine encourages individuals to be active partners in their health care and take responsibility for their long-term health, as well as address causes of lifestyle-related disease and concentrate on prevention. Focusing on a cycling-based charity challenge event designed to raise funds to support cardio health, the Yellow Pages Cardiac Challenge, this article considers the role of charity challenge events, and more broadly cycle tourism, within lifestyle medicine. Using survey-based primary and secondary data, the study addresses two questions: To what extent do the socio-demographic profiles of charity challenge participants and lifestyle disease "at-risk" groups overlap and what is the cycling involvement and experience of charity challenge participants? The results suggest that charity challenge events can play a role in introducing individuals to the physical health benefits of cycling, and encourage mental health and well-being through the creation of new social relationships, development of a sense of achievement, and experiencing positive emotions. Whereas a number of questions remain to be answered, this study's results contribute to existing health policy debates by exploring the role of sports tourism in supporting lifestyle medicine initiatives.
Tourism Review International
© 2014 Cognizant Communication Corporation. The attached file is reproduced here in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher. Please refer to the journal's website for access to the definitive, published version.
Impacts of Tourism