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Boda boda riders prone to erectile dysfunction, new report shows

Spending longer hours riding a bicycle may cause erectile dysfunction, a study among boda boda operators has shown.

The study, done in Bungoma county and released last Friday, says that riding boda boda for longer hours can also cause prostate cancer and impotence.

According to the study done on 230 participants of whom 115 were sugarcane cutters and 115 were bicycle taxi riders, riding in the gym can also cause trauma to the blood supply to the penis, resulting in erectile dysfunction.

Erectile dysfunction is the inability for one to sustain an erection sufficient for sexual intercourse or achieve an erection.

Dr Francis Kagema, a gynecologist and one of the authors of the study, said organic erectile dysfunction is common in elderly men but is not prevalent in men below 40 years of age.

“Recent research implicate that ride bicycle, smoking, alcohol intake and diabetes mellitus causes erectile dysfunction in much younger men,” said Dr Kagema.


The study was done to evaluate the effects of long term bicycle riding on erectile function among bicycle taxi (boda boda) riders in Bungoma town.

The main finding of this study, published in the East African Medical Journal last month, revealed that when one rides mechanical bike for long period, they are likely to affect the ability to ejaculate.

Dr Aggrey Akula, a lead gynecologists in western Kenya said that the problem does not only affect boda boda riders but also truck drivers.

“This is as far as temperature is concerned. They sit on their testicles for long hence the rising the temperature in the area which can make one impotent,” he said.

The overall prevalence of erectile dysfunction among bicycle taxi riders in the study was 36 per cent and 34 per cent among sugarcane cutters, was not significantly different.


The period of riding in months was not significantly associated with erectile dysfunction among bicycle taxi riders but the length of riding in hours per week was significantly associated with erectile dysfunction.

The risk of erectile dysfunction increased as the hours of riding per week increased.

“None of those who rode for more than 60 hours per week had a normal erectile function. The type of bicycle used was significantly associated with the quality of erection and hardness of erection score,” he said.

Those who used mechanical (none motorised) bicycles had an increased risk for erectile dysfunction.

A British study also revealed that middle-aged men who spend nine hours a week on their bike are more likely to be diagnosed with prostate cancer.

But the statistical link with prostate cancer could create a new, and unexpected, health concern for the millions of men who regularly cycle.