Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Bone Health - cycling doesn't help!

Just after I posted the last one entry saying that I'd not seen anything interesting, I come across this study!

Study Shows Some Athletic Men May Risk Low Bone Density
A new study from the University of Missouri-Columbia has found that men engaging predominantly in low-impact forms of exercise - have an increased incidence of osteopenia—a condition resulting in two times the risk of bone fracture.

The researchers measured bone mineral density in 43 competitive male cyclists and runners ages 20 to 59. Findings of the study included:

The cyclists had significantly lower bone mineral density of the whole body, especially of the lumbar spine, compared to runners.

63 percent of the cyclists had osteopenia of the spine or hip compared with 19 percent of the runners.
Cyclists were seven-times more likely to have osteopenia of the spine than the runners.

Regular, non-weight-bearing activities, such as swimming and cycling are effective measures for preventing the leading risk factors for death and disability in our society,” Hinton said. “But the results of this study suggest that regular weight-bearing activities, such as running, jogging, or rope jumping, are important for the maintenance of healthy bones."

There was a similar study a few years ago: Low bone mineral density in highly trained male master cyclists

This is back to the basic question....what are you designed for? Exercise is good, but the full spectrum of benefits only come when you are doing weight bearing moves, or moves that involve an impact. Again it is all about functional moves: weights, jumps, sprints, twists, pushups.....

If you are training for health and longevity - not just to burn fat or get six pack abs, then maybe it is worth keeping off the bike and staying on your feet?


Noel said...

I'd rather say "don't spend all your time on the bike". Cycling can be a nice respite for the joints after all those sets of plyos, heavy squats, and heavy DLs that I'm sure all readers do.

Chris said...

I agree with that Noel. I suppose I was pointing this out to all those who spend hours on a stationary bike at the gym.

Bryce said...

One exercise solution, is an oxymoron. I see this with the stationary bikes, road bikes, and aerobics machines in gyms. Come in, do their thing, leave.

If you want to be a bike racer, since it is so specific a skill and strategic, you should probably spend as much of your obsessed life as possible on the bike.

But if you are not a bike bloke, then give your butt and back a break, maybe drop leave the outfit home now and then too.

Success at sports, particularly bike racing and general health are not compatible. If you want to win, you pay the price, but if you just want to be in some kind of shape why rip yourself off? IMO-totally