Physiological measures of bicyclists’ subjective experiences: A scoping review

Tommy Lim, Anjani Kalra, Jason Thompson, Joanne Caldwell Odgers, Ben Beck

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Feeling unsafe, stressed, and uncomfortable while bike riding are key barriers that prevent people from riding more. Examining these perceptions is important for increasing bicycling. The recent rise in wearable devices has coincided with research using bike riders’ physiological responses to measure their subjective experiences while riding. However, the types of physiological responses used to quantify bike riders’ experiences and how well these responses compare to individual perceptions of riding experience gathered through interviews or surveys remains unknown. This scoping review aimed to address these knowledge gaps and identified five key findings: i) The main physiological responses used to measure subjective rider experience were heart rate variability, heart rate, and skin conductance; ii) Where physiological and non-physiological measures of subjective experience have been compared, statistical comparisons showed weak associations and descriptive comparisons showed moderate to large degrees of variation in the number of identified moments of stress; and iii) Physiological responses were predominantly used as measurements of psychological stress. We conclude that further work is needed to determine whether physiological responses are a valid measure of subjective riding experience, and to examine a wider range of feelings that people might experience while bike riding.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)365-381
Number of pages17
JournalTransportation Research Part F: Traffic Psychology and Behaviour
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2022


  • Cycling
  • Physiology responses
  • Subjective experience
  • User experience
  • Wearable devices

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