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'Can Low-Impact Sports Like Cycling Be Putting Your Bones at Risk?'

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'Can Low-Impact Sports Like Cycling Be Putting Your Bones at Risk?'

Old 01-30-19, 09:23 PM
Arthur Peabody
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'Can Low-Impact Sports Like Cycling Be Putting Your Bones at Risk?'

'A disquieting new study of bone density in elite cyclists and runners suggests that the answer might be yes. The study found that the cyclists, both male and female, had thinner bones than the runners, even though all of the athletes were young, healthy and enviably fit, and many of the cyclists lifted weights.'
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Old 01-30-19, 10:59 PM
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Yes. This is well known.

(Road) cyclists aren't just worse office than runners, we're worse off than couch potatoes. So it's got to be a combination of the lack of impact, plus mineral loss through sweat. Your best way to deal with this is to choose your parents wisely, but if you missed the memo and it's too late, weight lifting, running, even walking and mountain biking will help.

You should be able to get your risk assessed soothe a DEXA scan.
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Old 01-30-19, 11:00 PM
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Old study. Old news.

We cyclists have known this for the last decade or two already.

Oh look ... a NY Times article from 2009. Fancy that. A decade ago.


And here's a study from 2000 ... almost 2 decades ago!


If you google 'cycling and bone density' you'll see pages of articles on the subject. Common knowledge.

And yes, the answer is yes.

Last edited by Machka; 01-31-19 at 02:00 AM.
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Old 01-31-19, 10:27 AM
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More discussion on the topic here: Wait! I thought low impact was good for me! in case anyone is interested.
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Old 01-31-19, 10:43 AM
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Originally Posted by Machka View Post
Old study. Old news.
The NYT article reports on a new study in BMJ. More details in the other thread. I posted a link to the original article, and the summary points under "What's new."

It is probably having a look at it before dismissal.
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Old 02-02-19, 10:25 PM
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Yep. I just had a DEXA scan. Bone density at left femoral neck was T=-3.3, Z= -1.1, which is classified as osteoporosis. I run, DH ski, lift weights, hike, backpack, etc., and have done for decades, but there it is. The doc says sweat has nothing to do with it, though that's what I always thought, too. I worked until a few years ago and was always on my feet, lifting and moving heavy stuff, etc. The doc was unaware of the stats on cyclists. The fact that it's well-known among some cyclists including YT has not been helpful for this cyclist.

The doc put me on alandronate. I've also increased my milk consumption. The doc says that latter is a good idea but probably won't help much if at all. I've had a good diet for the last 45 years, eat yogurt and a good bit of cheese, lots of green veggies. The past few years, I've been lifting heavy ~9 months/year. Never had a broken bone, rare among high mileage cyclists. My mom had bad osteoporosis in her late 80s.

I happened to get a DEXA scan because I've started a regimen of low dose prednisone to take care of an odd auto-immune disease called PMR. The doc ordered a baseline scan because prednisone is known to affect bone density.
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