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“Clinicians working in the field of cardiovascular risk prevention should consider promoting cycling as a mode of transportation"...

Recreational and commuter cycling may help reduce the risk of developing cardiovascular disease according to two recent studies. Anders Grontved, senior author of one of the studies, published in the American Heart Association's journal Circulation, said that the findings reinforced the message that being physically active didn’t have to mean doing regular structured exercise.

Medical News Today reports that Grontved and colleagues at the University of Southern Denmark in Odense analysed data on 53,723 Danish adults who were 50 to 65 years of age at the time of recruitment between 1993 and 1997.

Over 20 years of follow up, over 45,000 who regularly cycled to work or for leisure had 11 to 18 per cent fewer heart attacks than those who didn’t do any cycling. The study indicated that some protection against heart disease was achieved with as little as 30 minutes of cycling a week.

Participants who took up cycling in the first five years of follow-up had a 25 per cent reduced risk of developing heart disease compared with those who didn’t cycle in the subsequent 15-year period.

"Finding time for exercise can be challenging for many people, so clinicians working in the field of cardiovascular risk prevention should consider promoting cycling as a mode of transportation," advised Grontved.

A second study in the Journal of the American Heart Association also linked cycle commuting to a number of factors that can influence heart health.

Researchers followed 23,732 Swedish adults, with a mean age of 43.5 at the start of the study, over a 10-year period.

Initially, those who cycled to work were 15 per cent less likely to be obese, 13 per cent less likely to have high blood pressure, 15 per cent less likely to have high cholesterol and 12 percent less likely to have pre-diabetes or diabetes than those who used public transport or drove.

At the end, people who cycled were 39 per cent less likely to be obese, 11 per cent less likely to have high blood pressure, 20 per cent less likely to have high cholesterol and 18 per cent lower diabetes risk. People who switched from sedentary commutes to cycling also had reduced risk for each.

Senior study author Paul Franks from Lund University commented: "We found active commuting, which has the additional advantages of being time-efficient, cheaper and environmentally friendly is also great for your health. The multiple advantages of active commuting over structured exercise may help clinicians convey a message that many patients will embrace more readily than being told to join a gym, go for a jog, or join a sports team."

Alex has written for more cricket publications than the rest of the road.cc team combined. Despite the apparent evidence of this picture, he doesn't especially like cake.

14 comments

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Duncann [1046 posts] 9 months ago
3 likes

Not really news but worth repeating, I suppose.

Cycling to and from work everyday is "regular structured exercise" though.

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therevokid [1013 posts] 9 months ago
4 likes

and regular cycling to work identified the early onset of stable angina in my case

which 30 years of cycling hadn't found .... at least it was found and I'm still here  1

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StraelGuy [960 posts] 9 months ago
3 likes

Meanwhile, in a press release from the ministry of stating the bleedin' obvious...

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Arno du Galibier [78 posts] 9 months ago
2 likes

Meanwhile the Daily Fail is sending mixed messages to its readership. Is cycling something to be loved or hated?

laugh

https://www.bikebiz.com/news/read/cycling-can-save-your-life-says-the-newspaper-which-slams-cycleways/020269

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leaway2 [72 posts] 9 months ago
6 likes

So cycling to work is better than sitting in a car/bus/train.

The report also stated that the Pope has Catholic tendencies.

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burtthebike [922 posts] 9 months ago
6 likes

While I understand all the faintly ironic comments about the conclusions of this report being slightly more than obvious, the message does need to keep being reported.  While the media is dominated by stories about cyclists being dangerous and killing lots of people, we have to have other stories which are slightly less biased and show that cycling is likely to increase your lifespan and improve your health and wellbeing.

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roof30 [4 posts] 9 months ago
4 likes

As someone who has a transplant, and has had a heart attack, getting back in to cycling has been one of the most satisfying decisions I've taken in my life.  Anything that can help to keep me healthy - and alive - has got to be worth it.  Grateful to wake up each day and look forward to getting on the bike.

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Jimnm [231 posts] 9 months ago
1 like

Any exercise and a well balanced diet will be beneficial. Doesn't need to be riding a bike. 

A lot of heart conditions are hereditary, however if you stuff your face with the wrong foods and sit about, expect shit to happen to you  3 I love cycling it's better than burning rubber when I ride my motorcycle. 

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ooldbaker [102 posts] 9 months ago
3 likes

“Clinicians working in the field of cardiovascular risk prevention should consider promoting cycling as a mode of transportation"

You would think they could start by providing for cycle parking at hospitals. I travel to the cardiac department of the Dorset County Hospital in Dorchester. They have hundreds of places for cars but racks for about three bikes. Whilst I waited in the cardiac ward this year two drivers asked in the waiting room how long the wait was as they were forced to drive round the carpark in circles as there was nowhere to park their cars. Bikes were left attached to flimsy wooden fences where they partly obstructed pathways.

The bikes badly parked proved there was demand for bike parking and if they offered patients a realistic option to the cars that they have no more room for, they might improve matters for everybody.

I contacted them and asked if I had missed any parking and got a reply that they were considering more racks but if they were really "promoting cycling" I cannot see what is stopping them. 

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ConcordeCX [332 posts] 9 months ago
0 likes
ooldbaker wrote:

“Clinicians working in the field of cardiovascular risk prevention should consider promoting cycling as a mode of transportation"

You would think they could start by providing for cycle parking at hospitals. I travel to the cardiac department of the Dorset County Hospital in Dorchester. [...]

 

they were kind enough to fix my wrist a few years ago after I broke it falling off my bike at 1 km/h. They were very generous with the opiates.

 

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ooldbaker [102 posts] 9 months ago
2 likes
ConcordeCX wrote:
ooldbaker wrote:

“Clinicians working in the field of cardiovascular risk prevention should consider promoting cycling as a mode of transportation"

You would think they could start by providing for cycle parking at hospitals. I travel to the cardiac department of the Dorset County Hospital in Dorchester. [...]

 

they were kind enough to fix my wrist a few years ago after I broke it falling off my bike at 1 km/h. They were very generous with the opiates.

 

I don't want it to sound like a criticism of the medical staff they certainly saved my life on more than one occasion. I wouldn't want to be treated anywhere else. It would just be nice to be able to go there on my bike withoiut worrying about it.

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arfa [851 posts] 9 months ago
2 likes

The only fact that needs endless repetition is that you are more likely to die from not cycling than you are from cycling.
As for hospitals, I dropped by Chelsea & Westminster and the bike parking is so token there, bikes are chained up all over the place.
As for Guy''s and Thomas spending NHS money opposing a segregated cycle lane, it kind of sums up the total lack of leadership and policy in this country.
Until we get someone like Boardman in an official government position with money to spend and authority to tell the stupid where to go, progress will remain glacial.

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hawkinspeter [771 posts] 9 months ago
2 likes

So, that's why no-one likes cyclists - we end up living longer.

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burtthebike [922 posts] 9 months ago
0 likes
hawkinspeter wrote:

So, that's why no-one likes cyclists - we end up living longer.

Hopefully longer than magistrates.