Prescribe-A-Bike

What is Prescribe-A-Bike:

Funded by the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, Prescribe-A-Bike began as a pilot program where healthcare professionals at Woodhull and Interfaith Hospitals in Central Brooklyn “prescribed” Citi Bike memberships to patients with chronic conditions such as hypertension and diabetes. Since the program launched in 2016, 175 participants have taken part and over 30 healthcare professionals have assisted in prescribing bikes at participating hospitals.

Prescribed Citi Bike memberships provide participating patients with unlimited 45-minute bike rides throughout NYC and enable them to foster healthy activities, that have been found to help prevent or lessen chronic illnesses.

Patient Enrollment and Pilot Results:

Participating patients were prescribed memberships by various healthcare professionals

(including PTs, NPTs, NPs, MDs, LCSWs, DPTs, DNPs, Dieticians, DDS, etc.) at the participating hospitals if they expressed an interest in cycling, passed a routine physical exam, and had a debit or credit card for any extra fees.

Studies have shown that regular physical activity is one of the most powerful tools of promoting a longer, healthier life. Physical activity has wide-reaching benefits for the muscles, the immune system, and the cardiovascular system and programs like Prescribe-a-Bike help reframe existing community resources as health interventions.

Figure 1: Results from “Prescribe-a-Bike: Bridging Clinical Medicine and Population Health”, NYC Dept. of Health and Mental Hygiene & Weill Cornell Medicine

Ways to get involved:

Healthfirst, our wellness partner, is investing in helping us grow Prescribe-A-Bike programining. We are exploring more opportunities to scale this program by integrating into National Diabetes Prevention Programs and other cohort models that promote positive health outcomes.

Health and wellness sites that want to offer bikeshare memberships for their patients or seek to embed Prescribe-A-Bike within current programming may reach out to Ryan Greenlaw, Equity and Community Engagement Specialist at Citi Bike, who can assist with questions and concerns: rgreenlaw@lyft.com.