The Relationship Between Cycling Intensity, Duration and Active Transport on CVD
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Background - Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the primary cause of death worldwide. Evidence demonstrates that regular exercise can reduce the risk of CVD. Cycling is a low impact exercise, sport and method of transport widely accessible to the general population. Methods - This review looks at the impact of cycling on the risk of CVD. Research studying intensity of cycling, duration of cycling and active transport has been reviewed to determine the overall impact of cycling on CVD and how these variables may have an impact. A search strategy was used to find peer reviewed literature and some grey literature published in the last 18 years. Results - A clear link between cycling and CVD was found. Low intensity cycling was found to reduce the risk of CVD in sedentary individuals whilst both moderate and vigorous cycling were demonstrated to reduce the risk of CVD in the general population. Duration of cycling was found to have an impact on the risk of CVD if done at a moderate intensity. The majority of research agrees that active transport reduces the risk of CVD risk factors and certain cardiovascular diseases. Literature is inconsistent about the impact of active transport on CVD differences between men and women and there is currently limited research in relation to children and adolescents. Conclusion - This review found a clear association between cycling and a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease. Cycling specific active transport was found when performed at a moderate intensity.
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