Spinning class may have just become a woman's worst enemy.
More specifically, the traditional bike seat we sit on as we cycle our way through such workouts may be affecting our sexual health. Previous studies have shown that those hard seats are linked to erectile dysfunction in men, but now women are at risk, too.
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Here's the problem: When we sit on a bike seat, the nerves and blood vessels in our genital area get compressed. Researchers at Yale already knew that female cyclists had less genital sensation than female runners (based on a 2006 study). They hypothesized that these bike-riding ladies, then, thanks to the aforementioned seat design, were at risk for sexual problems.
This time around, the experts at Yale studied 58 women who cycled at least 10 miles a week. The participants pedaled on "mock bikes" in the lab (with seat position and handlebars adjusted according to each woman's preferences, to mimic her everyday ride) and told researchers when they felt sore, numb or a tingle as a result of sitting on the bike seat.
Interestingly, handlebars had a lot to do with genital sensation as well. The lower the bars, the more a woman has to lean forward, ultimately increasing the pressure on her lady bits.
To alleviate the problem, researchers suggest using "no-nose" saddles or seats; although in spinning class, that may be beyond our control. Of course, the other solution is to just forgo spinning class altogether — we're sure you were looking for a valid excuse to skip, anyway (orgasms and sexual health are completely excusable reasons, FYI).
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Sound off: Is this study enough to make you find a new workout?