Riding a Bike is Good for you if you have Diabetes

Just a brief note to say that another medical article has been published showing that riding a bike improves your health.

It is well-established now that riding a bike every day decreases your chances of premature mortality. This study takes it further and shows that this is even more so if you have diabetes.

For this study 7,459 people have been tracked over the last 30 years throughout Western Europe. Their cycling habits were self-recorded along with whether or not they had diabetes, and their mortality rates over the period were recorded.

The graph below shows their “Hazard Ratio” plotted against the hours per week of cycling that they did. It shows that even cycling an hour or two a week reduced people’s chances of premature mortality by 30%. Interestingly, people who cycled too much started to have increased rates again. The authors speculate that this could be due to traffic crashes, pollution-related respiratory issues, or physical injuries due to over-exertion. The sweet-spot seems to be about 4-5 hours of cycling per week which, by a happy coincidence, is about how much the average New Zealander spends commuting.

Hazard Ratio plotted against Hours per Week of Cycling (note this is just for people with Diabetes)

The formal conclusions were:

“In this cohort study, cycling was associated with lower all-cause and CVD mortality risk among people with diabetes independent of practicing other types of physical activity. Participants who took up cycling between the baseline and second examination had a considerably lower risk of both all-cause and CVD mortality compared with consistent noncyclists.”

“Results of this cohort study showed that engaging in cycling was associated with a lower risk of all-cause and cardiovascular mortality among people with diabetes after considering other physical activities as well as other risk factors.”

2 thoughts on “Riding a Bike is Good for you if you have Diabetes

  1. Okay. Got that. Ride your bike if you have health issues. But if you are healthy, and have time, convenience, and comfort issues, as the vast majority of us have, then some other form of transport is required


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