Wellfie Wednesday Tip #103: Bike Sharing & Helmet Safety

Happy Wellfie Wednesday! Welcome back! This week is brought to you by Diana (@DianaKlatt). 

     Bicycle sharing has taken the world by storm.  They’re everywhere, quite literally every major city across the US and even abroad. Though if you look at the news of how people dock the bicycles in Australia…you may reconsider pushing for one in your hometown (from a population stand-point). Make sure to watch the satirical Facebook video within that link. But are they really increasing health? Well, yes and no.

     Yes, the implementation of bicycle sharing has made it so more people are using this method of transportation and is making a positive impact on their physical fitness as well as environmental health.  The benefits have improved public health immensely. However, there is something that is missing in most rental/sharing systems – H E L M E T S. Very few in fact provide helmets during a rental. 


     Studies indicate that the prevalence of use of helmets in bike sharing users is low, which isn’t surprising when you look around and see that none of these bike share systems offer helmets.  But why? Well first of all it would be quite gross to share helmets with so many people… but that shouldn't stop YOU, as a consumer, to bring your own helmet!  The cost of sustaining a head injury (ie TBI) costs twice as much amongst those that do not wear a helmet versus those that do wear helmets.

     It’s completely up to you as to whether or not you wear a helmet (or your local law), but think about how easy it is to fall or collide with another person when you’re zig-zagging around a city.  A helmet could be the difference between some minor scratches and a major injury. 

     Be safe out there! And Thanks again for all of the #WellfieWednesday support, be sure to post your pictures this week and tag the WW crew members in your post (@TheFuelPhysio@Eric_in_AmERICa@AaronPerezPT@DianaKlatt) and keep the wave of healthy change going!

- WW Crew






Costa CK, Dagher JH, Lamoureux J, de Guise E, Feyz M. (2015). Societal cost of traumatic brain injury: A comparison of cost-of-injuries related to biking with and without helmet use. Brain Injury. 29(7-8):843-7. doi: 10.3109/02699052.2015.1004758.

Zanotto M, Winters ML. (2017). Helmet Use Among Personal Bicycle Riders and Bike Share Users in Vancouver, BC. American Journal of Preventative Medicine. 53(4):465-472. doi: 10.1016/j.amepre.2017.04.013

Fischer, CM. (2012). Prevalence of Bicycle Helmet Use by Users of Public Bikeshare Programs. Annals of Emergency medicine. doi: 10.1016/j.annemergmed.2012.03.018.

Graves JM. (2014). Public Bicycle Share Programs and Head Injuries. American Journal of Public Health. doi: 10.2105/AJPH.2014.302012

Wellfie Wednesday Tip 85: Exercise Your Brain!

Happy Wellfie Wednesday! This week is brought to you by Alyssa  (@kuhnalyssa_spt).

     Recently, research is beginning to dive further into the connection cognitive performance has on mobility. The question is can your problem solving/processing efficiency affect your ability to safely complete everyday tasks? The answer is a resounding, Yes!

     Many studies have actually found a link between fall risk in older adults and how well they are able to think and process information! If you think about it, it makes sense. During everyday tasks, we are almost always moving while thinking about something or interacting with someone- whether its walking while having a conversation, mixing ingredients while reading a recipe, running while listening to a podcast, walking while reading a sign, etc. Rarely are we ever just moving or just thinking.

     As we age, our ability to juggle these two tasks can become a little more difficult. Fall risk in community dwelling older adults can increase if cognition becomes impaired, i.e. not being able to process information fast enough, difficulty with multi-tasking, and difficulty planning and strategizing movements.  Cognitive stimulation tends to decrease as our lives get simpler- we retire from our jobs, experience a potential alteration of our family roles as children move away, and unfortunately, a common downtrend in physical activity may be adopted. This is why we must continue to challenge our brains as we age!

How can we continue to do this?

  1. Recreational non-contact sport involvement: ping pong, tennis, basketball, biking, Tai Chi, yoga, aquatic based classes, trail hiking to encourage movement and strategy.
  2. Virtual based reality games (Wii, Kinect for Xbox One): challenges your balance and reaction time when responding to a visual stimulus.
  3. Pick up a new hobby: card games, knitting, crocheting, playing an instrument, painting, learning to dance, etc. Even though they might not involve much movement, you are improving your ability to plan and strategize!
  4. Frequent social gatherings: meeting a friend for a walk in the park, attending exercise classes with friends, joining a book club, meeting up with friends for coffee, etc. Interaction with other people is great way to keep you on top of your mental game while having fun. Interaction with movement is even better!
  5. Completion of puzzles, number games (Sudoku), crosswords, etc: Many of these things can be very challenging and can help maintain your ability to process information and pay attention to selected information, both of which are handy in real life situations too!

     Bottom line: Decreasing cognitive function due to lack of stimulation/challenge can lead to consequences and difficulty with completion of everyday tasks as we age. It is so important to exercise your mind as well as your body to continue to lead a long and healthy life! Now is a great time to start!

So Exercise that Brain! Thanks again for all of the #WellfieWednesday support, be sure to post your pictures this week and tag the WW crew members in your post (@TheFuelPhysio@Eric_in_AmERICa@AaronPerezPT@DianaKlatt@kuhnalyssa_spt) and keep the wave of healthy change going!

- WW Crew