Cyclists have reduced risk of cardiovascular disease, study finds

These findings come from a study of over a million people's medical data

A rider tackles the Cote de Park Rash in the Yorkshire Dales (Photo by Ian Forsyth/Getty Images)
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Cycling reduces the risk of developing cardiovascular disease (CVD), a new study from the British Journal of Sports Medicine (BJSM) has found.

After accessing medical databases containing data of over a million individuals, they found that any form of cycling seems to be associated with a lower CVD risk.

People who use cycling as a method of transportation as well as those who take pedalling more seriously were included in the study, with the BJSM undertaking a two-part systematic review and meta-analysis of the data. The results led them to recommend cycling as a health-enhancing activity, heralding their findings as "great news" for those who already regularly cycle. You can read the report here.

A 2017 study by the YMCA showed that people who had a physically active lifestyle had a wellbeing score 32 per cent higher than inactive individuals, explained by exercise releasing adrenalin and endorphins, as well as cycling combining physical exercise with being outdoors and exploring new views. Of course, there's other potential contributing factors such as improving confidence due to achieving new things ( for example physical achievements on the bike) as well as riding with a group or joining a club, which broadens your social circle.

A 2013 study showed that increased exercise has also been linked to better brain health – and the reduction of cognitive changes that can leave people vulnerable to dementia later in life. The study showed that while riding, a cyclists’ blood flow in the brain rose by 28 per cent, and up to 70 per cent in specific areas. Not only that, but after exercise, in some areas blood flow remained up by 40 per cent even after exercise.

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Hi. I'm Cycling Weekly's Weekend Editor. I like writing offbeat features and eating too much bread when working out on the road at bike races.

Before joining Cycling Weekly I worked at The Tab and I've also written for Vice, Time Out, and worked freelance for The Telegraph (I know, but I needed the money at the time so let me live).

I also worked for ITV Cycling between 2011-2018 on their Tour de France and Vuelta a España coverage. Sometimes I'd be helping the producers make the programme and other times I'd be getting the lunches. Just in case you were wondering - Phil Liggett and Paul Sherwen had the same ham sandwich every day, it was great.