IT’S just as well you never forgot how to ride a bike – because the average Scot hasn’t cycled for nine years.
A survey carried out by the British Heart Foundation (BHF) has revealed that people in Scotland are less likely to get on their bikes than any other part of the UK.
Despite the success of Edinburgh-born Sir Chris Hoy, the figures reveal that one in 10 Scots don’t even know how to ride a bike.
The statistics have raised fresh health concerns with Scots already four times more likely to die of heart disease than those living in England, Wales or Northern Ireland.
The study polled 2,045 adults across Britain, 149 of which were Scots, in their latest study.
Interestingly, the responses revealed that Glaswegians were less likely to get in the saddle than people from Edinburgh.
Those from Glasgow were on average nine and a half years out of the saddle, whilst it was eight and a half since those from Edinburgh had cycled.
The BHF study also revealed that one in ten Scots didn’t know how to ride a bike, compared to one in eight in the rest of the UK.
One in three Scots also said they would give up on cycling within a year whilst over 50% didn’t even own a bicycle.
Elizabeth Tack, event lead for the London to Brighton bike ride, an event set up to encourage cycling and combat heart disease, said: “It’s surprising to learn that while there is a clear appetite for cycling in the UK, there is a still a vast amount of us who are not getting on our bikes often enough, or even at all.”
BHF Scotland wants to help Scots get back on their bikes and are encouraging them to sign up for their flagship event, the London to Brighton bike ride.
57% of Scots surveyed said they could enjoy a cycling challenge such as the BHF event to help them get back into cycling.
In 2014, 144 Glaswegians out of every 100,000 under the age of 75 died prematurely as a result of cardiovascular disease (CVD).
This number was in stark contrast to those living in the Hart district of Hampshire, where only 40 from every 100,000 died because of CVD.
Fresh research has also suggested that women need to start taking care of their heart at age 20 as this is when arteries start to harden.
By starting to look after their hearts from an earlier age, it is hoped that risks can be reduced and any potential heart problems can be prevented.
Dr Carolina Demori (CORR), cardiologist at the Orlando Health Heart Institute, said: “This is a wake up call that there needs to be more education on heart health and more aggressive screenings to prevent a small issue developing into life-threatening conditions.”