n International SportMed Journal - Health conditions and injury patterns in avid US cyclists : original research article




There is a paucity of data on the health risks and benefits of recreational cycling.

Describes the injury patterns, health risks and benefits of recreational cycling.
Internet-based retrospective self-reported data.
Web based study of cyclist behaviours, injuries and medical conditions.
The study was open to subjects over 18 years of age, who cycled at least 2 times a week with internet access.
Conducted using DatStat® software.
Self-reported injuries and health conditions.
In this study, 4792 subjects were >18 and met the authors' definition of a cyclist. The majority of injuries were taken care of by the cyclist with no effect on their ability to continue with their job or activities of daily living. At least 7.0% reported the use of performance-enhancing drugs. There were reductions in obesity (76.2%), cholesterol (66.1%), hypertension (50%) and asthma (58.7%) after cycling. There were increases in musculoskeletal complaints. Hand pain and numbness increased by 420%. Urologic complaints increased by 310%. There were decreased reports of all mental health diseases reported. Abrasions were the most common injury (53%). The most injured body parts were the pelvis/hip (15.5%), knee (14.8%), and shoulder (13.6%). The least injured body parts were the abdomen (0.4%), foot (0.5%) and upper arm (0.7%).
There is encouraging data that cycling results in reductions in obesity, high cholesterol, diabetes, asthma and hypertension. The greater health risks of cycling appear to be related to compressive forces on the perineum and the hand/wrist. Injuries are common to cycling, although the majority of injuries are minor.


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