Promoting Campus Cycling for Outdoor Recreation and Transportation: Investigating Factors Influencing Student Bicycle Usage on a Large, Southeastern University from an Ecological Perspective


  • Margaret M. Shields Charleston Southern University
  • Katherine H. Thomas Charleston Southern University
  • Angelia Paschal University of Alabama
  • Melanie Tucker University of Alabama
  • James Leeper University of Alabama
  • Stuart Usdan University of Alabama



college health, environmental health, cycling, bikeability, social ecological model


Biking is a popular recreational activity, and understanding how to promote participation is important to college health and recreation professionals. The purpose of this study was to examine factors contributing to cycling behaviors on one large college campus from an ecological perspective. Students were surveyed at a southeastern university in 2014 (n = 3 56). The survey instrument included intrapersonal, interpersonal, and institutional predictors of cycling practices. The predictors of cycling engagement included gender, ethnicity, and race and also intrapersonal and interpersonal variables that predispose participation. This inquiry was intended to offer insights to guide the planning and implementation of targeted, multilevel cycling promotion programming for the campus community to increase commuting options and create opportunities for outdoor recreation involving bicycling. This study identified factors that facilitate or hinder university campus cycling as well as demographic predictors of cycling behavior.

Author Biographies

Margaret M. Shields, Charleston Southern University

Margaret Shields, PhD, MS, CHES is an Assistant Professor of Health Promotion at Charleston Southern University.

Katherine H. Thomas, Charleston Southern University

Kate Hendricks Thomas, PhD, MS, MCHES is an Assistant Professor of Health Sciences and the Health Promotion Program Director at Charleston Southern University. Learn more about Kate's research and writing at

Angelia Paschal, University of Alabama

Angelia Paschal, PhD is an Associate Professor of Health Science at the University of Alabama.

Melanie Tucker, University of Alabama

Melanie Tucker, PhD is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Family Medicine at the University of Alabama.

James Leeper, University of Alabama

James Leeper, PhD is a Professor of Community and Rural Medicine and Director of Education & Evaluation for Rural Scholars Programs

Stuart Usdan, University of Alabama

Stuart Usdan, PhD is a Professor of Health Science at the University of Alabama.



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Special Issue: Campus Outdoor Recreation Programs