Spin Classes and Prostate Health

Spin Classes and Prostate Health 645d546fd7a92.png

Spin Classes and Prostate Health

High energy, motivational, and fun, are just some of the words people use to describe attending an exercise bike class, or “Spin Class” as it’s often called. In fact, the influence that uplifting and encouraging spin classes have had has led to a whole slew of Soul Cycle gyms, that offer these classes exclusively. And, during the height of the pandemic, when we were sheltering in place, the company Peloton, made a fortune selling exercise bikes with a screen attached, that allowed people to attend spin classes at home.

But what effect, if any, does all this intense cycling have when it comes to prostate health?

First of all, it’s no secret that a man’s private parts are what make contact with a bike seat. Putting pressure on the area known as the perineum. Located between the pubic bone and the coccyx is the perineum, and just below the skin are nerves and blood vessels that supply the scrotum and penis with blood as well as the prostate gland.

So what, if anything does this pressure from the bike seat, do?

Well, this is highly debatable. Yes, there are studies, such as one published in the Journal of Men’s Health, that found a correlation between hours spent cycling, and the incidence of prostate cancer. The results suggest, that in men over 50, the more hours they spend on the bike, the higher the rates of prostate cancer. However, these results are debatable, given that studies have shown that cycling can increase a man’s PSA level ( prostate-specific antigen), which is often used as an indicator of potential prostate problems, such as cancer. Therefore, in order to avoid a false reading, men should avoid cycling before getting this test.

There is also some evidence that suggests that bike riding, especially rigorous bike riding, can irritate the prostate and could potentially exacerbate and even lead to prostatitis and pelvic pain. This repetitive compression to the perineum from the bicycle seat can also at times, though rarely, cause inflammation of the prostate, and chronic inflammation is known to be a risk factor for cancer and other problems.

So what can be done about this? The solution is rather simple:

  1. If you have prostate problems and you cycle frequently you may find it helpful to discuss the potential impact with your doctor, particularly if you are going to have a PSA blood test.
  2. It’s best to avoid cycling during episodes of prostatitis or chronic pelvic pain syndrome.
  3. Find ways to reduce putting pressure on the perineum and in doing so, the prostate, by wearing padded shorts, standing on the pedals more, and adjusting the bike seat.

The bottom line, biking and spin classes are excellent forms of cardio and have many health benefits, however, using caution and common sense when it comes to biking and prostate health should always be a priority.

Request An Appointment

Mon-Fri: 8am-5pm
Weekends: Closed

* All required fields.Please only include non-medical responses.

Accessibility Toolbar