There is now scientific proof that e-biking is good for your health: There has been quite a bit of controversy among the cycling community when it comes to the actual health benefits of riding e-bikes. Some hardcore cycling fans claim that electric bikes are for the lazy riders and that riding a bike with a motor is a form of cheating.
There is now scientific proof that e-biking is good for your health
Now, there is serious scientific research which is about to prove that these claims are false and that electric bikes can actually be beneficial for the health especially as compared to the health and fitness levels of non-riders and of other cycling alternatives such as mopeds and other completely motorized forms of transportation.
According to a recent article in CleanTechnica and a formal e-bike market report published earlier this year, which cites a systematic review which was originally published in the International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity in 2018 and includes moderate and valid medical evidence that electric biking provides sufficient physical activity of moderate intensity which provides cardiorespiratory fitness especially among people who lead sedentary lives.
Normally, the physical activity associated with e-biking is less intensive than that from riding traditional bicycles, but it is more intensive than walking.
Then again, pedelecs provide an opportunity for each rider to choose just how much pedaling to do and how often to rely on their motor instead. This means that every e-biker can decide just how much and how intensive a workout they want when they go out to ride their electric bike.
In other words, riding an electric bike provides more cardio and aerobic exercise as compared to walking or being sedentary and inactive.
As a whole, any type of physical activity is healthier than spending your days on the couch or preferring to drive or walk instead.
More people are choosing to commute to work and to rely on the pedals rather than on the motor on their way back from work, which not only saves time and money from having to go to the gym after or before work but also helps release the stress and energizes them too. Every intensive physical exercise leads to the release of the “happiness” hormones endorphin and adrenaline, so e-bike riders just like regular cyclists can ensure that they feel that magical “high” from pedaling and engaging in intense physical activity.
Being physically active not only helps reduce stress, but also can help resolve problems with depression and anxiety as well. Riding an electric bike can help people who suffer from physical and mental problems to get out and start moving, which is a definite plus as well.
Another study from 2017 concluded that switching to commuting via an e-bike from driving or using public transport increases the level of physical activity significantly.
As the US Government and the World Health Organization recommend – the intake of proper nutrition and engaging in physical exercise and activity can significantly reduce the risk of developing one of the most popular and unfortunately most deadly diseases including heart attack, stroke, diabetes type II, cancer, obesity, and depression. The government suggests that a minimum of 1.5 hours of vigorous or 2.5 hours of moderate exercise can seriously minimize the risk of developing one or more of these health conditions.
By switching to commuting or running errands via an e-bike rather than driving, you can easily achieve this minimum, and even more. Even though electric bikes do have batteries and motors, most of them also require that you pedal as well, which is considered a low impact and yet efficient aerobic and cardio physical activity.
In 2014, a survey which included more 500 e-bike users in the US found that they started traveling further and carrying more loads and cargo once they switched from riding traditional bikes to electric bikes. The main reason which the e-bikers pointed out for this tendency was the fact that riding an electric bike is much easier than a regular bike, and that you can get to your destination faster even when carrying a lot of cargo. The same study found that more people who ride e-bikes chose them because of difficulties with regular cycling. Some were not fit enough, others were too old, or not healthy enough to cope with traditional pedaling and preferred to ride electric bikes instead.
The conclusion from this research is that e-bike users can travel further, more often and carry much more loads with them as compared to cyclists. Also, electric bikes made it possible for people unable to ride regular bikes to start riding as well.
Research from the Netherlands shows that the average distance covered by e-bike riders was 8.8 miles for each trip as compared to the much shorter average distance covered by regular cyclists which was just 4.66 miles.
The obvious conclusion which can be made from these findings is that e-bikers ride at further distances, and thus are physically active for longer than cyclists, even though the intensity of the actual activity is most probably lower than that of traditional bicycle riding.
But if the distance one rides on an electric bike is twice as much as that of a regular cyclist, the total exertion could even up for both sides.
One more important finding from all of these studies is the realization that electric bikes are not actually used as replacements for traditional bicycles, but rather as replacements for cars. More people are choosing to commute to work or school by riding an e-bike instead of driving due to financial reasons, environmental concerns, as well as to save time from being stuck in traffic jams and by having the opportunity to use shortcuts and cycling paths instead of the heavily congested roads.
Electric bikes have zero harmful emissions and do not make noise and thus don’t contribute to the increasing problem with the air and noise pollution. They are also smaller than cars and can help reduce the traffic problems which most towns and cities are facing on a daily basis.
As a whole, the cyclists who are skeptical about e-bikers should consider the benefits of more people joining the army of cyclists on the road, which makes the roads safer for all participants in the traffic. Riding electric bikes is also a much healthier alternative both for the riders themselves and for the other people on the road, because of the eco-friendliness of e-bikes as well as the fact that riding a motor assisted bike is much healthier than driving and leading a completely inactive lifestyle.
In order to promote the idea of more people leaving their cars at home and choosing the more eco-friendly, inexpensive and healthy variant, more companies, and local and national governments and authorities are changing their regulations and encouraging more people to choose to be more active and to lead greener and healthier lives.
So, the best solution to the dilemma about the health benefits of riding e-bikes is to encourage more people to choose them instead of relying solely on driving or instead of choosing to stay home because of their age, low fitness level, health problems or for other reasons.
In cases like these, electric bikes can have a life changing effect on people who are otherwise immobile or depend on others to get from one point to another and to live much more independent and healthier lives.