My mind is blown because I truly never thought I’d see the day where Experts Say, Electric Bike Riders Get More Exercise Than Cyclists – I mean I am truly wondering how this even makes sense? At first, I really didn’t believe it.
To make sense of this, we have to take a look at the study that was conducted and published in the ScienceDirect journal. The study looked at 10,000 adults in seven European countries that rode electric bikes.
“This study aimed to compare physical activity levels of e-bikers and conventional bicycle users (cyclists) as well as across e-bike user groups based on the transport mode substituted by e-bike. Physical activity, transport and user related parameters were analysed. Data from the longitudinal on-line survey of the PASTA project were used. The survey recruited over 10,000 participants in seven European cities.” (Source)
While this was a pretty intensive study, researchers concluded that electronic bike riders often took longer trips, used their e-bikes more and often chose their electronic bike over driving making it so they received more exercise than traditional cyclists.
The exact study findings were:
- E-bikers take longer trips by e-bike and bicycle, compared to cyclists.
- Physical activity gains from active travel are similar in e-bikers and cyclists.
- Substituting all car trips with e-bike use leads to a gain of 550 MET min/week.
- Transport mode substituted by the e-bike is still used frequently afterwards.
Does this mean you should ditch your traditional bike and opt for an e-bike? Well, not exactly.
E-bikes are meant to help you speed up pedaling and climb hills and rugged terrain easier. While some do the pedaling for you, it’s the e-bikes that help you do the biking work and not do it for you, that seem to be a health benefit. With the help of e-bikes, studies are finding more people are using them longer (like in this case) and therefore, getting more exercise than if they were to bike traditionally.
The study above wasn’t the only study to conclude this. In fact, another research study found similar results…
In 2016, scientists at Switzerland’s University of Basel studied 32 people. Of the 32 people, many of them were overweight. The participants were split into groups of those riding e-bikes and those not. The study concluded that while both groups had a similar positive fitness outcome, those that rode e-bikes maintained a higher average speed, and rode up steeper gradients on a daily basis.
“This indicates that the e-bike can increase motivation and help overweight and older individuals to maintain fitness training on a regular basis,” says U Basel’s Prof. Arno Schmidt-Trucksäss. “Those who use e-bikes on a regular basis benefit permanently, not only in terms of their fitness, but also in terms of other factors such as blood pressure, fat metabolism, and their mental well-being.” (Source)
So, if you feel that you could use more motivation and exercise, an e-bike may be the way to go. Just ensure it is one that helps you pedal rather than does the work for you. Trust me, I was shocked at the findings too but research is research.