A study of the health benefits of e-bikes has found that that although physical exertion is only moderate, people ride more often, therefore the results are positive.
It’s a case of what you lose out in puff, you make up in volume.
Researchers in Hanover, Germany, selected 101 workers from four companies and over a two week period randomly assigned them either an e-bike or a standard bike.
The subjects were fitted with heart rate monitors and data recording phone apps were also used.
The time spent riding each trip did not differ greatly between the two modes, but the e-bike riders used their bikes for additional trips.
"The results of our study suggest that pedelecs are used more often than normal bicycles in everyday use,” said the researchers from Institute of Sports Medicine at Hanover Medical School.
"We, therefore, assume that the participants mainly used the pedelecs for the same routes as the bicycles, but more often. This finding indicates that commuting and day-to-day tasks (e.g. grocery shopping), rather than additional recreational trips, were the main usage purpose."
"On the basis of a real-world setting, our study showed that pedelecs could be a suitable method to enhance health-promoting physical activity in healthy adults.”
"Pedelec use can help to meet the recommendations for physical activity, despite motor support.”
In accordance with previous studies, our data confirm that the average heart rate during everyday pedelec use was significantly lower than during cycling, but was still high enough to be classified as moderate by ACSM standards."
"This shows that the integration of pedelecs in the form of active transportation to work is an important resource and should be supported by employers."
The findings also indicated that the e-bike users did not reduce the amount of physical exertion associated with other activities.
This article was made possible by the support of Bicycle Network's members who enable us to make bike riding better in Australia.