A new study recently published in PLOS Medicine suggests that those who ride their bikes have a reduced risk of developing type 2 diabetes. The study involved more than 50,000 Danish men and women between 50 and 65 years old.
The study found that people who bike to work or cycle regularly were actually less likely to develop the condition. Danish researchers suggest that this applies to those who start biking later in life, too.
Study leader Martin Rasmussen from the University of Southern Denmark says, “Because cycling can be included in everyday activities, it may be appealing to a large part of the population. This includes people who, due to lack of time, would not otherwise have the resources to engage in physical activity.”
The study showed that, overall, the more time a person spent cycling, the lower their risk for type 2 diabetes was.
After five years, participants were reassessed and those who continued cycling on a regular basis were found to have a 20 percent lower risk of developing diabetes than those who did not continue cycling.
The study took into account the risk factors that could have affected participants’ risk, such as weight circumference, diet, alcohol consumption, and smoking, but researchers acknowledge that other factors could have influenced their results.
Rasmussen said in a news release that he found it especially interesting that cycling reduced the risk of type 2 diabetes even in their study group that consisted of middle-aged and older men and women. The findings emphasize that “even when entering elderly age, it is not too late to take up cycling to lower one’s risk of chronic disease,” he said.
The researchers believe that more cycling programs should be promoted, given the findings in their study.
Also, read Bel Marra Health’s article: Type 2 diabetes risk higher for night shift workers.