Add Parkinson’s Disease to the List of Ailments Warded Off by Cycling
As though we didn’t already have more great reasons to keep on cycling than we know what to do with!
Research published on Jama Network shows that physical activity, such as cycling, decreases the risk of developing Parkinson’s Disease. Even moderate exercise helps, though the research found a strong correlation only for males, not so strong for females.
Parkinson’s disease (PD) is an aging-related neurodegenerative disorder involving progressive motor impairment. It affects more than 1% of people aged 65 years and over.
The researchers set out to quantify the dose-response relationship between exercise and incidence of Parkinson’s, by analyzing data from all available studies on the topic. The pool of subjects included more than half a million people.
Their conclusion is clear – just a few hours a week of moderate to vigorous activity reduces risk of PD by about 17% for men.
They quantified the amount of exercise using MET-hours (metabolic equivalent task values), a way to compare the benefit of different physical activities.
It turns out that about 20 MET-hours of moderate to vigorous exercise is enough to make the difference in PD risk. That translates to about three hours of cycling at 10-12 mph, or as little as one hour if you’re a speedster who averages 16 mph or more.
The researchers call for more study to understand the factors affecting the different dose-response relationships between the genders. Even so, since it’s so well established that exercise reduces risk for many ailments like heart disease, stroke and diabetes, it’s pretty safe to say to guys and gals alike – keep on pedaling!
More about cycling and health: Cycling – Fountain of Youth?.