Monday, February 28, 2011

Cycling kills!

A great bit of headline-writing from the Daily Wail:
Why cycling to work is one of the biggest causes of heart attacks
Yes, it's true, the roads round here are littered with the corpses of cyclists who have keeled over on the morning commute.

Or perhaps not. It might just be a piece of nonsensically over-hyped drivel - I report, you decide. A more rational discussion of the underlying research can be found here.

Firefox users can solve the "Daily Mail causes cancer" problem here. For those readers who aren't familiar with this particular rag, lucky you.


kj said...

Daily Mail does come up with a load of old rubbish. Never heard of anyone having a heart attack from cycling yet! Sure people have but cannot imagine it is that common with cyclists!

James Annan said...

Actually I have heard of a fair few people (and personally know of a handful) who have suffered heart attacks while exercising, though usually much more vigorously than during a typical commute. Some of them have even died. One of them is still racing internationally, and is phenomenally fit. It does lead me to wonder if the preventive effects of exercise are slightly overstated, cos he's being kept alive by pills and stents.

Nevertheless, the proportion of people with heart and other health problems among the population who do not exercise significantly is undoubtedly higher (even after correcting for the reverse causality that severe health problems may stop people from exercising). I'm also pretty sceptical of the scare stories about pollutant uptake in cyclists, which seem to underly this research. Our air intakes are much higher than a typical car and I don't sit in nose-to-tail queues but go straight past them!

The Daily Wail hates cyclists, of course.

Steve Easterbrook said...

I'm not sure which is worse - the stuff they make up, or the damage they do trampling over people in the process. Take a look at this woeful tale:

James Annan said...

Thanks for the link, Sadly I have to admit to being completely unsurprised (except that the victim actually got some recompense that time, which is rare).

PeteB said...

My favourite article on the Daily Mail