Can Cycling Actually Harm Your Health?

by Leo Cartland

There are many people who enjoy cycling. In fact, it is what many people do regularly. There are cyclist who bike all around the world on a daily basis. The question sits as of now – Can cycling harm your health? This has been a question asked by many due to health problems that have shown up in cyclists. Research shows that biking for many hours a week without any impact exercising can worsen bone density. This reduction in bone density is worse than not exercising. Cycling might be good for the lungs, heart, bodyweight and circulatory system but for bone health it is a bad thing.

preview-full-tour-1Study Example

As mentioned, research shows that bone density gets worse with cycling. A study had been done in which bone density in study participants had been tested over seven years. This is was the density of the bones in the neck, hip and lumbar spinal area. Lean tissue and body fat were also measured. The study including nineteen cyclists and 18 non-active participants. The average age of the participants was fifty-one years of age.

Study Results

The results of the study mentioned were quite astonishing. In the beginning and final tests, the cycling participants had lower bone density in all areas – the neck, hips and lumbar spinal areas. After taking the lean mass and body fat into consideration, it was shown that cyclists had more bone density loss over those seven years than the non-active participants. Some of the participants had done impact exercises and they were shown to have less of the bone density loss in their lumbar spinal area and neck than those who were not doing the impact exercises. During the starting test, approximately eight-five percent cyclists and fifty percent non-active participants met criteria for subnormal bone density levels. During the final test, ninety percent cyclists and approximately sixty-percent non-active participants met criteria for subnormal bone density levels. Six cyclists and one non-active participant, after the course of the seven years, had very low bone density.


The research and study shows that cycling is bad for bone health and density. When cycling is done without any impact exercises such as gymnastics or running, bone loss is going to be greater. One conclusion is that not participating in impact exercises causes the bones to quite mineralizing while they lose calcium in sweat. Between both of these things happening, bone loss is bound to occur. Another thought is that impact exercises do boost testosterone which helps bone health. Without those exercises, there is not extra testosterone to help the cyclists to keep their bone density at healthy levels. Instead, cyclists are left after seven years with a higher risk of getting bone fractures due to the loss of bone density.

If you are a cyclist this is certainly something to think about. If you are going to continue cycling, the study shows that the best things you can do is impact exercise along with having a higher intake of calcium as well.

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