Cycling to work and back may be doing wonders for your calf muscles, but experts have found that excessive cycling may put men at a higher risk of being diagnosed with cancer.
Researchers at University College London (UCL) found that middle aged men who spend over nine hours a week on their bike are more likely to be diagnosed with prostate cancer.
The study of over 5,200 cyclists found that men over 50 in this activity category were five times more likely to receive a diagnosis.
In the report, published in the Journal of Men’s Health, the researchers said they could not rule out that cycling itself was to blame for the increase in prostate cancer diagnosis.
“It’s tricky to interpret,” said study author Dr Hamer. “Obviously the men who are cycling for the most amount of time are more health aware so they may be just more likely to be diagnosed.
“Or there could be a genuine biological link between trauma in the area of the prostate associated with bike riding.
“We were quite surprised by the size of the finding for prostate cancer so it does warrant further investigation, but we can’t draw any conclusions from this study.”
The UCL study also found no evidence to suggest that the myth that cycling causes infertility or erectile problems is true.
The study researchers were keen to note that although the link between prostate cancer and cycling needs further research, cycling does have many proven health benefits, such as providing exercise.
The NHS says: “Cycling is one of the easiest ways to fit exercise into your daily routine because it’s also a form of transport. It saves you money, gets you fit and is good for the environment.”