Can Electric Bicycles Really Be Healthy?

POSTED: 14th March 2012
AUTHOR: Sue

The title says it all really! Many people look at electric bikes and immediately say “That’s cheating” or “Don’t be lazy”. People are also saying “I shall keep pedaling my old bike just as long as I can” or “I’m not old enough for one of those yet”. The whole idea that electric bikes are cheating is a misconception. This is mostly because the way that electric bikes work is not widely understood.

Generally electric bicycles or battery bikes are designed to be ridden in the pedal assist mode. The rider still pedals and the motor assists. Many electric bikes have the ability to select the amount of assistance given by the bike. Once it is understood that riding an electric bike doesn’t mean that that the rider has given up having any kind of input at all, the benefits then become much clearer.

Riding an electric bike on pedal assist mode is classed as ‘moderate’ exercise. NHS guidelines state that adults should do at least 150 minutes (2 hours 30 minutes) of moderate exercise a week. So a person who uses their electric bike to ride to work every day could be achieving the recommended weekly exercise, whereas someone who drives to work every day but then does a half an hour brisk walk on both days of the weekend would not.

So are electric bike riders ‘cheating’ or ‘lazy’? The answer is a resounding ‘No!’ Typically electric bike riders are more likely to go out on their bikes than many riders who purchase a normal pedal cycle with good intentions. The benefits are clear for those with leg or joint weakness. Taking the strain out of riding but allowing the joints to mobilise means that many more people can get out into the fresh air and feel good about taking exercise. Those people who say “I shall keep pedaling my old bike just as long as I can” should be applauded, but they should still consider how far they are riding. Would they go further or more often with electric assistance?

So, in answer to the question Can Electric Bicycles really be Healthy?  ”Yes, they can!”

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