cycling could reduce the risk of knee pain later in life


  • Regular cycling throughout life reduces the risk of knee pain and osteoarthritis, a new study suggests.
  • Cyclists had less pain and osteoarthritis than those who had not cycled in their lifetime.
  • The results were even more beneficial for those who had always cycled.

In France, 10 million people suffer from osteoarthritis, including 65% of people over 65, he says State Institute of Health and Medical Research (Inserm). Excessive pressure on the joints, sometimes due to too high intensity of physical activity during life, is a risk factor for the development of this disease. But when the intensity of the sport is moderate, it can have a preventive effect.

Cycling reduces the risk of osteoarthritis

Indeed, according to a new study published in the journal Medicine and Science in Sports and ExercisePeople who cycled regularly throughout their lives had a lower risk of developing osteoarthritis – with or without symptoms – and had knee pain.

To achieve this result, the researchers asked more than 2,600 participants between the ages of 45 and 79 to fill out a questionnaire. They were asked whether they had ridden a bicycle during their lifetime (with the number of years and times per month) according to four age groups: 12–18 years; 19-34 years; 35-49 years; and 50 years and over. Cycling included outdoor cycling, indoor cycling or indoor spinning. Of the more than 2,600 participants, more than half cycled or cycled regularly.

Researchers have observed a link between cycling and knee problems and osteoarthritis. People who had engaged in this physical activity at any point in their lives reported less knee pain and osteoarthritis, with or without symptoms, compared to those who had never cycled. The benefits were even greater for participants who had cycled all their lives.

Knee pain: 17% lower risk thanks bike

Compared to non-cyclists, cyclists were 17% less likely to have frequent knee pain, 9% less likely to have asymptomatic osteoarthritis, and 21% less likely to have symptomatic osteoarthritis compared to non-cyclists. says Dr. Grace Lo, one of the authors. Additionally, each additional age group on the bike leads to a decreased likelihood of reporting knee pain and osteoarthritis with or without symptoms.

The researchers acknowledge the limitations of their study: the information was declarative and primarily collected retrospectively. This can therefore lead to errors. But the underlying message remains the same: “The main point of this study is that for people who are worried about having knee pain, osteoarthritis with or without symptoms, cycling can be a good preventive measure and that the more often they do it in their lifetime, the better their health knees will be“, concludes Dr. Grace Lo.

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