Is cycling good for your lungs?

This question is about Cycling

Sarah Achleithner

Yes, research indicates that cycling is good for lung function and improves cardiovascular fitness  [


]. Cycling promotes lung health for people with or without a lung condition, and studies have shown that those with asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and lung cancer can use cycling as part of a pulmonary rehabilitation program [




]. Lung function can be greatly improved by cycling for about 170–250 minutes per week, however, some people see an improvement in cardiorespiratory fitness from cycling as little as 20 minutes a day [





The back of two cyclists in yellow jerseys with a mountain in the background

[1] Oja, P., Titze, S., Bauman, A., de Geus, B., Krenn, P., Reger-Nash, B., & Kohlberger, T. (2011). Health benefits of cycling: a systematic review. Scandinavian journal of medicine & science in sports, 21(4), 496–509.

[2] Cavalheri, V., & Granger, C. L. (2020). Exercise training as part of lung cancer therapy. Respirology, 25(S2), 80–87.


[3] Spruit, M. A., Burtin, C., De Boever, P., Langer, D., Vogiatzis, I., Wouters, E. F., & Franssen, F. M. (2016). COPD and exercise: does it make a difference? Breathe (Sheffield, England), 12(2), e38–e49.


[4] Møller, N. C., Østergaard, L., Gade, J. R., Nielsen, J. L., & Andersen, L. B. (2011). The effect on cardiorespiratory fitness after an 8-week period of commuter cycling--a randomized controlled study in adults. Preventive medicine, 53(3), 172–177.