Fun, sure — but is it good for you?

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Is off-road riding good for you? A study by York University will look at the issue scientifically by sending test subjects out for trail rides and then putting them through lab tests.

The study will take place at the Trail Tours site east of Toronto on Aug. 22 and 23, and will examine the health and fitness impacts of riding ATVs and motorcycles in off-road environments. Male and female test subjects of various ages have been solicited.

The two-part study, conducted by Jamie Burr of York University, will consist of a trail ride lasting about 40 minutes and then lab tests for about the same length of time.

The level of effort used by riders during the riding phase will be compared to the exertion of other activities, like jogging, and the riders’ fitness will be compared to national averages to determine if past riding activities have done any good.

Riders will be fitted with additional gear to measure the caloric expense, and will go through some basic strength tests. Following the rides, blood pressure will be measured, blood lipid levels will be analysed, and questionnaires will be given to riders. There will also be a treadmill running test.

Refreshments will be provided to the participants. The Motorcyclists Confederation of Canada is among supporters of this study.

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