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Bone density, this time for cyclists

March 10th, 2009

Another new study on bone density, in this month’s Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise. Since cycling isn’t weight bearing (except when you stand up out of the saddle), it’s often thought to be worse for building bone strength than alternatives like walking. And sure enough, the study I wrote about here found that competitive cyclists had lower spine bone mineral density than controls.

But the new study, from researchers at Manchester Metropolical University in the U.K., concludes that “sprint cyclists and to a lesser extent distance cyclists had greater tibia and radius bone strength surrogates than the controls.”

So, completely contradictory results from two studies measuring slightly different aspects of the same thing. Sounds like we don’t really know what’s going on yet (and don’t even know exactly which questions to ask).

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