Cyclists more likely to develop arthritis in knees according to research

Frequent cyclists two times more likely to develop condition

by Kevin Emery   October 26, 2009  

Cara on a Giant

According to new research conducted at the Tehran Medical University in Iran frequent cyclists and people who spend long periods of time in a squatting position may be at an increased risk of developing arthritis in their knees.

Arthritis of the knee, or osteoarthritis, is the most common type of arthritis to attack people and occurs when the cartilage of the joints break down. It usually begins after a person reaches middle age and can be disabling.

To determine whether occupational or leisure-time activities could influence the risk of a person developing the condition, Dr S. Dahaghin and colleagues compared 480 people with osteoarthritis of the knee and 490 arthritis-free controls for the study.

According to the study people who cycled for more than 30 minutes daily were two times more exposed to the risk of developing arthritis of the knee. And individuals who spent more than 30 minutes a day squatting were at 1.5 times increased risk.

The Tehran researhers say that their study proves that overuse of a joint can increase arthritis risk. Researchers believe that people should be more aware about the damage they are doing to their joints while performing their normal, everyday jobs or while indulging in leisure activities.

“Education on preventable risk factors should be considered in order to ensure people use knee joints appropriately and avoid overuse", researchers concluded.
 

13 user comments

Oldest firstNewest firstBest rated

better stop all that squatting then?!

Fringe's picture

posted by Fringe [1081 posts]
26th October 2009 - 14:53

like this
Like (3)

Christ, this cycling lark has a lot to answer for...

Not only will I not be able to perform sexually due to it, but I won't even be able to stand up!

Oh well, both those things are over-rated, I'll take my chances...

Complicating matters since 1965

DaSy's picture

posted by DaSy [644 posts]
26th October 2009 - 15:39

like this
Like (3)

still, when we cant stand or use our legs to cycle we can get one of those hand bicycles, or at least till our wrists seize up. (or maybe they have but lets not go there!)

Fringe's picture

posted by Fringe [1081 posts]
26th October 2009 - 16:32

like this
Like (3)

Fringe wrote:
or at least till our wrists seize up. (or maybe they have but lets not go there!)

What, due to trying to counter the effects of penile numbness you mean?

Oh sweet Jesus, I thought it was just RSI due to too much forum activity...

Complicating matters since 1965

DaSy's picture

posted by DaSy [644 posts]
26th October 2009 - 17:22

like this
Like (5)

Big Grin .

Fringe's picture

posted by Fringe [1081 posts]
26th October 2009 - 18:54

like this
Like (1)

Hmm so what about all those runners who take up cycling when their knees go?

Tony Farrelly's picture

posted by Tony Farrelly [4111 posts]
26th October 2009 - 19:37

like this
Like (3)

Define "middle aged". Armstrong is 38, i'd consider that to be pretty middle aged and he doesn't seem to be doing too badly with regards to the cycling...

All the gear and no idea!

posted by JonMack [170 posts]
26th October 2009 - 22:50

like this
Like (5)

maybe he balances it all out by never ever squatting. Have you seen Lance squat? Me neither

Darned if I do…

Mr Sock's picture

posted by Mr Sock [152 posts]
27th October 2009 - 0:39

like this
Like (2)

If normal cycling is bad then downhill MTB racing or BMX racing must be be particularly bad for the knees, given all the impacts of jumps.

I'm 47 and I can still walk unaided.

OldRidgeback

posted by OldRidgeback [1941 posts]
27th October 2009 - 9:57

like this
Like (4)

Fringe and Mr. Sock are on to something, it's the damned squatting...that's it no more gratuitous squatting for me, it's official!

Complicating matters since 1965

DaSy's picture

posted by DaSy [644 posts]
27th October 2009 - 10:12

like this
Like (3)

Oh well at least I now know I'll need help when I'm older.
Cycling, Squash, Skiing, my knees must be on their way out soon.

davepop's picture

posted by davepop [11 posts]
27th October 2009 - 21:53

like this
Like (2)

This article is just so far from the mark it reinforces the fact that most so called 'research' appears to be churned out as media fodder. There is no such thing as 'arthritis of the knee, or osteoarthritis' - arthritis is a catch all term for many different types of arthritis, the two main ones being rheumatoid (which is inflammation of the joint) and osteo (which is a degradation of the bone). The cause of arthritis is still largely unknown. Speaking as someone who was diagnosed with rheumatoid 30 years ago when I was 21 and at the time was left unable to walk, and who has subsequently made a full recovery and cycled probably 50k miles since, cycling has been a godsend. I can't run much or walk any distance but I can keep fit by cycling.

"According to the study people who cycled for more than 30 minutes daily were two times more exposed to the risk of developing arthritis of the knee. And individuals who spent more than 30 minutes a day squatting were at 1.5 times increased risk." Absolute nonsense - given that the cause of arthritis is largely unknown, how did they deduce this? Did they take into account the overall health benefits of regular low impact exercise? Did they assess it against say jogging? And who spends 30 minutes a day squatting??? Bah ...

posted by amazon22 [143 posts]
27th October 2009 - 22:54

like this
Like (3)

This is going to sound very strange, but I spent 40 minutes squatting yesterday. Oh dear!
As for the article though, there doesn't seem to be an explicit statement of causality anywhere: simply that there was some correlation. As far as I am aware, correlation does not equal causation (despite comparative government large-n data studies' frequent claims)...

jamesfifield's picture

posted by jamesfifield [89 posts]
28th October 2009 - 8:39

like this
Like (3)