De broze gele trui: botstatus van wielrenners

Stand van zaken
21-07-2018
Albert van de Wiel en Peter Verstappen

Sporten levert een positieve bijdrage aan onze gezondheid en dit geldt zeker ook voor wielrennen. Wielrennen bevordert de gezondheid en heeft een gunstig effect op cardiovasculaire risicofactoren.1 De sport wordt in ons land op grote schaal en op alle niveaus van intensiteit beoefend. Maar liefst 6,3% van de bevolking ouder dan 18 jaar (849.000 individuen) staat te boek als wielrenner, dat wil zeggen: doet ten minste 12 keer per jaar aan wielrennen of mountainbiken (bron).

The fragile yellow jersey: bone health in cyclists

Although cycling has positive health effects, including improvement of cardiovascular fitness, it does not have a favourable effect on bone health. In professional cyclists, the bone mineral density (BMD) will actually have decreased at the end of an intensive season.

As a professional cyclist’s career progresses, there will be a further decrease in BMD particularly in the hip and lumbar spine.

The forward leaning position, the repetitive movement at low intensity, and the fact that body weight is carried by the bicycle all contribute to non-stimulation of bone formation. The cyclists’ low body weight, which is desirable for climbers in particular, and possibly their dietary pattern may exacerbate this negative effect.

To reduce the risk of fractures both during and after a cycling career, it is desirable that more attention is paid to strengthening of the bones.

The effectiveness of training programmes to strengthen the bones should be investigated in carefully designed research studies.

Conflict of interest and financial support: none declared.