For those interested in the effects of different types of exercise on bone density should look up an article titled A Systematic Review of Bone Health in Cyclists that came out in the journal of Sports Health that looked at cycling and bone mass. Major Points for Review:
- Studies suggest Low Bone Density in Cyclists is lower as compared to runners and walkers and close to bone density of sedentary individuals.
- If you are a cyclist and have other risk factors for low bone density you should seek physician consultation
- Risk Factors for Osteoporosis (ie over age 50, long term steriod use,smoking and alcohol use, low calcium uptake in life, sex hormones associated with menopause and amenorrhea, etc)
- Highest risk area appears to be a lumbar spine for cyclists.
- Studies are suggesting decreased bone density but some inconsistencies are found in studies.
In my physical therapy clinic I recommend bone density testing especially for those in high risk groups. Lastly, patients should engage in more weight bearing exercises to counter balance the possible negative effects of cycling on the femur and lumbar spine bone density. Just here in my practice in Paramus I have seen numerous hip fractures among my cyclists.