The Instigator
L.D
Con (against)
Losing
6 Points
The Contender
MyDinosaurHands
Pro (for)
Winning
9 Points

Running is a better exercise than biking

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 4 votes the winner is...
MyDinosaurHands
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 4/18/2014 Category: Health
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,073 times Debate No: 52827
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (7)
Votes (4)

 

L.D

Con

Well, I'd start off by saying that while running is a more effective exercise, in burning calories, biking is a safer choice. Running can give you injuries and biking rarely does. Lets start off here first.
MyDinosaurHands

Pro

My opponent wishes to start with the safety of these two exercise options.

First, to address injuries. It is true that runners do have a pretty solid per year injury rate, but what is not often recognized is that bikers are injured far more often, and one can imagine, more seriously. One can imagine this because injuries on a bike would usually entail crashing your bike, whereas a running injury would usually include straining a muscle to the point that you can't use it.

But anyways, to the facts. When we consider injuries or deaths involving cars, it turns out that cyclists are more likely to be injured or killed. From 2004 to 2010, only 40 runners have been killed by a motor vehicle. In one year alone (2007), nearly 700 cyclists were killed by motor vehicles[1].

If we expand the types of injuries to incidents outside of car accidents, we see that cyclists still lead. Though the statistic is from 1998, we know that bikers are still on bikes, runners are still running with their feet, and they all do the same races they always have. The numbers may be a little different now, but we can be pretty safe in assuming that this graph[2] carries relevance even today. We can see that cyclist are about twice as likely to end up in the ER than runners are[2].

In closing, I'd like to ask this:
Would you rather do an exercise that kills 700 people a year, or do an exercise that kills 40 people in 6 years?

Perhaps the case can be made that bikers are injured less, but their injuries are clearly more severe, based off of car accident statistics and ER visits.


Sources:
[1] http://firststridesvermont.com...
[2] http://www.scientificpsychic.com...
Debate Round No. 1
L.D

Con

First of all, thank you for accepting my challenge. I'd like to define some concepts of this debate to help our arguments be more specific, as I just realised it can be a broad topic.

So, first lets separate and define for the purposes of this debate "injuries" with "accidents"

I would consider injuries as getting hurt in the act of training and by the act of training either on a bike or by running.
Accidents would be getting hurt by external factors that do not include the act of training either on a bike or by running as a cause for it. However, I am more than willing to address the issue of accidents as well.

1. The cycling accidents
Your sources are from 1998, and even though after my research, it shows that cycling still has the highest numbers of accidents, many things have improved from 1998, due to awareness, better cycling infrastructure, better gadgets for cyclist detection at night, and better bikes. Thus, my main argument for this particular point of view is that while the technology advances, roads improve and become better suited for cyclists, both cyclists and drivers become more aware, the number of cycling accidents will decrease, until it will eventually become significantly low. Whereas the running injuries issues will remain the same (with slower improvements) as it is an issue related to the human body, not the environment and society around it.
Moreover, there is an overlooked fact which I'd like to present to the argument.
"Around 75% of fatal or serious cyclist accidents occur in urban areas." (Rospa.com). This means that most cycling accidents occur when the cyclist is biking for other purposes rather than training, which could be going to work, going to school, or simply meeting up with some friends in different parts of the city, amongst other reasons. Thus, this is out of topic, as the debate is built on what type of sport is a better exercise, meaning taking the bike or running for the sole purpose of training and not running from the police.
This article (rospa.com) shows statistics with the most common cycling accidents involving urban areas and car driving, and usually being the drivers fault.
So, having clarified that, I would like to take into account the fact that only about half of the cycling accidents happen when training on a bike.
Moreover, I'd like to throw a cheap argument as well, cyclist can always train inside the gym on the machines, hence spinning classes being so successful, the effect is much closer to cycling outside than a running machines effect is to real running outside.

2. The running injuries
While running accidents are less frequent, running injuries are more frequent.

3. On the pro side of the debate I found out that running injuries get better after 3 years, as runners get less injuries of consistent running, however cycling causes less injuries (as defined above) from the start.

Sources:
(http://postinjuryrunning.com...)
(http://www.wilkpt.com...)
(http://www.rospa.com...)
MyDinosaurHands

Pro

"...the number of cycling accidents will decrease, until it will eventually become significantly low."
Here is one of my opponent's main defenses for against the fact that cyclist accidents are far more prevalent than runner accidents. Contrary to his idea that 'things have improved since 1998', in a 2012 report on cyclist accidents, it is shown that cyclist accidents are on the rise[1]. Even if that weren't the case, is it really logical to think that cycling and its awareness can be so fundamentally changed as to lower that 700 per year statistic to less than 40 per 6 years?


"...most cycling accidents occur when the cyclist is biking for other purposes rather than training, which could be going to work, going to school, or simply meeting up with some friends in different parts of the city, amongst other reasons. Thus, this is out of topic..."
Here my opponent is trying to nullify the 700 per year number by saying that most of the people hit aren't serious bikers, and therefore their deaths do not apply. My response is three-fold. First, how can we know that the people hit within the cities aren't serious bikers? If you're training for a race, but live in a big city like New York, you may not have a lot of options as to where to go. Second, just because someone isn't biking to train, doesn't mean it's not exercise. There's several types of exercise, one of which is recreational (i.e. riding your bike to your friend's house). Lastly, even if you refuse to acknowledge that recreational exercise is exercise, there's still (according to my opponent source's) 25% of bikers who are training getting hit. That's still well over 100 bikers killed in 2007.

"Moreover, I'd like to throw a cheap argument as well, cyclist can always train inside the gym on the machines, hence spinning classes being so successful, the effect is much closer to cycling outside than a running machines effect is to real running outside."
Proof? Additionally, saying that they could do something is invalid, because they're not. I could say that runners should stop buying Nike, because they're causing all our injuries, but I don't, because saying what the sport should be doing is not a good way to advocate the sport in its current form. It's like saying, "Yeah you should totally go Bear Wrestling because they should make it a lot safer."

"While running accidents are less frequent, running injuries are more frequent."
And yet the part where you die is what you should be more worried about. And more cyclists die than runners. This concept can apply to my opponent's third section too.

Source:
[1] http://www.rospa.com...
Debate Round No. 2
L.D

Con

A study by the American Council On Exercise (ACE) explains why indoor gym cycling is a better exercise for the recreational cyclist (magazine.foxnews.com). As it explains in this source, the indoor biking is even more benefitial for the recreational cyclist, than biking outdoors. Whereas running on treadmills in the gym, according to Runner's World (runnersworld.com), is not the same as running outdoors, on treadmills it is easier, meaning less effective (mind you I tried my best to find an objective source).

Thus, for the recreational cyclist, biking is a means of transportation rather than exercise, though in this case one does not exclude the other. It is not a choice u can make, as you cannot choose between biking or running as a means of transport. Reminding the proponent that this debate is running vs. biking as a better exercise, thus comparing these two as a form of exercise, hance the opening statement of this debate is "Running is better exercise than biking", and not, for example, "Running at work is better then biking at work", simply because one would not run at work. That being said, I want to clarify some things:

1. Yes, "[I am] trying to nullify the 700 per year number...", not because they are not serious bikers, but because most of these bikers did not choose biking for being a better exercise than running, but for the purpose of transport, thus being off topic. For a better understanding, two examples could be analysed, A.: "I consider myself a runner, because I run for exercise everyday, but bike to work as my prefered means of transport." As opposed to B.: "I bike everyday for exercise and I take the bus to work." The first would be a runner and the second a cyclist, always for the purposes of this debate, these two concepts are narrowed down to these definitions. Qonsequently, the statistic you present is invalid in this context, because person A, who is a runner, can be injured on his way to work, and it would be considered as a cycling injury, while he did not choose cyclying as an exercise, but as a means of transport. Similarly, person B, who is a cyclist, can be injured by running from the police, while he did not choose running as an exercise in this case, but as a means to escape the police.

Moreover, if we were to compare the number of deaths per means of transport, walking would take the lead, with more than 4000 deaths and 60000 injuries in 2011. (pedbikeinfo.org)

2. To counter the proponents argument that "...in a 2012 report on cyclist accidents, it is shown that cyclist accidents are on the rise[1]." there are a few points I want to make. First, the number of cyclists has increased and is rapidly increasing, thus the number of accidents will increase as well. "More than 200,000 people bike every day in New York City. Cycling has increased 26% between 2008 and 2009." (gethealthywashoe.com). Second, similarly to the walking argument made above, walking has much more fatalities than cycling, bacause there is a much larger number of people walking then cycling, but this does not mean that walking has a higher risk of fatality than cycling. In the source they cannot give an answer to this question because there is missing data, and the question is too complicated. Thus, the thing we need to look at is not the numbers of deaths, but the percentage of deaths from the total number of cyclists or the distance cycled. So, who is to say that the percentage of deaths or injuries of runners is not higher than the percentage of deaths or injuries of cyclists?
Third, the data taken from he US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration shows that from 2001 to 2010 the number or fatalities in 2001 (732) was higher then 2010 (618), with swings in between. (cyclingresourcecentre). However, keep in mind that the number of cyclists has vastly increased, shown in (gethealthywashoe.com) and (TheGuardian), making the percentage of cycling fatalities to the number of cyclists or distance cycled much lower.


Despite all arguments above, I still feel on the defending side of the debate due to an emphasised focus on the number of accidents cyclists have, which is the proponents sole argument about this debate, and in which many cases of these accidents include factors that deviate us from the original topic at question.

So, here are some facts that make cycling a better exercise than running.

1. Cycling causes less injuries than running, as it is a smoother more natural movement of the body, and if you are worried from the risk factors of accidents caused by external or even internal factors, you can always "hit the gym" and try spinning. (menshealth.co.uk). By the way, there is a simple yet very beautiful statistic from this source: "Cycling: Injuries per 1000 hours: 6"
"Running: Injuries per 1000 hours: 11"

2. Running too much is bad for your health, while in most cases there is no such thing as "cycling too much".
(running.competitor.com)
3. This is my personal opinion, I think running is boring, whereas cycling is joyful and exciting, and you can even go sightseeing while training.

Anyways, thanks for a good debate.

Sources:

(http://cyclingresourcecentre.org.au...)

(http://www.gethealthywashoe.com...)

(http://magazine.foxnews.com...)

(http://www.menshealth.co.uk...)

(http://www.pedbikeinfo.org...)

(http://www.runnersworld.com...)

(http://running.competitor.com...)

TheGuardian, (https://docs.google.com...), or through (http://www.theguardian.com...)
MyDinosaurHands

Pro

The Biking Indoors Excuse
My opponent has tried to lessen the weight of the motor vehicle/cyclist accident rates by offering the fact cycling indoors is a much safer alternative. While this appears to be true, it doesn't refute anything. My opponent is representing cycling as a whole, so he cannot just point to the gym, to only one part of cycling, and call it good. While some cyclists no doubt do prefer the gym for its safety, there are still many who do not, and many who get injured or killed whilst doing their cycling activities outdoors.

Those Who Bike For Transportation
My opponent has tried to say that someone who uses a bike for transport is not necessarily a cyclist, and therefore shouldn't be considered. But since this is a debate over cycling as a form of exercise, we should recognize these people. Yes, they are using bikes for transport. But they are also exercising as they transport themselves. You cannot deny that the two are connected, and thus connected to the confines of this debate.

The 700 Number
My opponent has tried to narrow down the number of people who actually count in the 700 number, an attempt that I refuted in the above section. But let's pretend my refutation didn't happen. The fact that some of those in the 700 weren't biking to work out doesn't really matter. Think about it. No matter your reason for being on the bike, you are still just as likely as the next person on a bike to be hit. It's not like cars are somehow attracted to non-training bikers, and therefore you have lesser odds. A person on a bike is a person on a bike. Every person on a bike has the same odds of being killed. Saying only a fraction of the people on bikes are actual exercising cyclists doesn't matter. It's the same concept as whether or not a boy or girl will be born. Even if there's more girls in your family, the next baby to be born still has a 1/2 chance to be a girl. Just ask your biology teacher. Not only that, but people who bike to train are likely to spend more time on the rode than their transportation bikers, and are therefore increase their risk of being hit and killed.

Percentages
"So, who is to say that the percentage of deaths or injuries of runners is not higher than the percentage of deaths or injuries of cyclists?"
The percentage of deaths for cyclists is higher than percentage of deaths for runners[1][2][3]. If we look at the odds under the logic in my third section, you are 8,125% more likely to die on a bike, or if you prefer, 81 times more likely to die on a bike. If you use the false logic my opponent suggests, you still are a staggering 1,413% more likely to die on a bike, or if you prefer, 14 times more likely.

Poor Evidence
My opponent cites some facts as evidence for his side, and I would like to show a few that very poorly support the points he tries to make with them.

"Running too much is bad for your health, while in most cases there is no such thing as "cycling too much".
(running.competitor.com)"
The article in question is titled "How Much Running Is Bad For Your Heart?" The fact that the article title is a question should be telling, and hints at a major theme throughout the article. The theme being, "We don't know." The researchers have admitted they don't know how much running is actually harmful for you. They only speculate that if you do a ton of marathons per year, you may have issues. Needless to say, marathons are a rare event for runners, especially multiple marathons per year. The best this article can do is show that if you're a top echelon runner, you might have problems with your heart.

My opponent also makes the claim that you can't cycle too much. However, viewed next to the article he has linked, you clearly can. The people in question in this running article are in question because of their hearts. The researchers believe that too much work hurts the heart. For my opponent to use an article like this and then claim that you can't over-cycle is like him saying that cyclists don't use their hearts to pump blood. Just as top echelon runners may have overworked their hearts, so too may top echelon cyclists have overworked their hearts.

menshealth.co.uk
Here my opponent cites the fact that there are more injuries per 1000 hours for runners. What we're not considering here is the quality of those injuries. With a bicycle, we could very easily be talking about a bicycle crash. Those suck. Whereas with running, we're talking about an overworked muscle, which generally is something you can feel coming, and stop running on before it becomes extremely painful. With a bike, the extreme pain will come in a split second as you fly off and hit the ground. It's the quality of the injuries that matter.

Further On The Idea That Running Is Bad For You
On top of the fact that the article about heart health my opponent used is iffy, especially when applied to the majority of runners, there is plenty of good that running indisputably provides. Runners are no more likely than non-runners to get arthritis, and actually develop stronger knee cartilage[4].


In conclusion, I'm just going to go through the Pros and Cons. Pros in bold.
Running: Less Deaths, Superior Calorie Burning Ability (as admitted by my opponent first round), More Injuries,
Cycling: More Deaths, Inferior Calorie Burning Ability, Less Injuries


By a score of 2 to 1, I declare running the winner. I hope you do too. Thanks for reading, and L.D, thanks for debating.



Sources:
[1] http://firststridesvermont.com...
[2] http://www.statista.com...
[3] http://ccooper.typepad.com...
[4] http://content.time.com...
Debate Round No. 3
7 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 7 records.
Posted by L.D 2 years ago
L.D
Nice, I thought so too :D
Posted by MyDinosaurHands 2 years ago
MyDinosaurHands
And I'm a runner too lol. That's how I got into this one.
Posted by MyDinosaurHands 2 years ago
MyDinosaurHands
I appreciate that. And admire your frank evaluation. That's not a skill a lot of people have.
Posted by L.D 2 years ago
L.D
Thank you to all voters, and thank you for your feedback!

I have recently discovered this website and I like it quite a bit. Although it didn't take long for me to notice the number of issues that reduce the quality of this website. However, I've decided to give it a chance and stay away from those issues so I can fully enjoy what this website is supposed to offer.

This was my first debate, and I have to admit that I rushed into opening three debates, just because I wanted the right to vote. This does not mean my I am devaluing the skill and proficiency of my challenger. He won fair and was well deserved, and honestly if I was a voter, I would have voted pro too! So thank you MDH for accepting the challenge and giving it a good go.

Oh, and by the way @softball_32, I'm a runner myself :D
Posted by softball_32 2 years ago
softball_32
i run almost everyday in athletics so yes running is a better excerise
Posted by MyDinosaurHands 2 years ago
MyDinosaurHands
Also if you read my last round you would know that running is not necessarily hard on the body long term.
Posted by MyDinosaurHands 2 years ago
MyDinosaurHands
@Sadolite
What part of Con's sources were better? You never said in your RFD.
4 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Vote Placed by EndarkenedRationalist 2 years ago
EndarkenedRationalist
L.DMyDinosaurHandsTied
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: While Sadolite is correct in noting that the debate heavily revolved around danger rather than efficiency, CON instigated this in Round 1. It was the only thing for PRO to defend. I disliked how CON continually shifted his goalposts - first all biking, then serious bikers, then indoor biking (no, you can't sightsee with an indoor bike). For me, this cost CON. Both sides made some excellent points with their statistics, and if the goalposts had not shifted, I think this debate would have been much harder to judge. As it is, arguments go to PRO.
Vote Placed by Romanii 2 years ago
Romanii
L.DMyDinosaurHandsTied
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: There were three parts to this debate: injuries, deaths, and health benefits. Con definitely won the injuries part with his statistics and criticisms of Pro's sources, but Pro did a good job of countering that by pointing out the undeniable statistics saying that cycling has more deaths associated with it. So ultimately, this came down to health benefits, and Con conceded that cycling burns less calories than running, so Pro wins arguments... Just some advice to Con: you probably could have built a stronger case for health benefits if you pointed out the stress put on the knees and joints by running. Good debate! :D
Vote Placed by sadolite 2 years ago
sadolite
L.DMyDinosaurHandsTied
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Total points awarded:50 
Reasons for voting decision: This debate was more about what is more dangerous than what promoted better results. The resolution was which is better not which is more dangerous. There is little to vote on here. given that there is so little to vote on my vote is based on the resolution and any arguments relevant to the resolution. Con made good arguments showing, biking produces less injuries over the long term Running produces more and is harder on the body over the long term. I remind everyone that I am referring to the resolution with regard to this statement. I am not voting on which is more dangerous IE injuries related to outside forces.
Vote Placed by The_Scapegoat_bleats 2 years ago
The_Scapegoat_bleats
L.DMyDinosaurHandsTied
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Total points awarded:13 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro effectively refuted Con's arguments, and offered a convincing net benefit ratio. However, using inappropriate language (where you die, iffy) costs Pro conduct.