Posted on Jul 30, 2018, 4 a.m.
Four weeks of riding an e-bike helps to promote fitness and health that is comparable to that of a conventional bike, particularly in those that are overweight and untrained, as published in the Clinical Journal of Sport Medicine.
The Bike To Work was the starting point for this pilot study which has been running for 10 years in Switzerland that encourages commuters to switch to using their bicycles or e-bikes more frequently every year for one month. Close to 65,000 cyclists took part in the event this year.
Researchers from the University of Basel Department of Sport, Exercise and Health examined how exercise intensity in e-bikes compares to that of conventional bikes, and concluded that training with an e-bike is not less effective and has comparable health benefits as regular bicycling, finding that even after a short training period of 4 weeks improvements in cardiorespiratory fitness were achieved.
30 volunteers were recruited who were all considered to be untrained overweight individuals that were all thoroughly examined including an oxygen uptake capacity V02 evaluation of cardiorespiratory fitness.
Participants rode a distance of at least 6 kilometers 3 days per week half on an e-bike the other on a conventional bike, there were no specifications regarding speed and intensity of rides, and some of the participants wore heart monitors and GPS devices. After 4 weeks all participants had their health thoroughly examined once more when it was observed that both groups had developed comparably well as measure by oxygen uptake capacity, and hearts worked more efficiently. Should participant’s improvements be permanently maintained risk of cardiovascular mortality would decrease to a clinically relevant exent.
Results showed that participants in the e-bike group were on average traveling at higher speeds and showed higher daily elevation gain, indicating e-bikes can increase motivation and help overweight individual as well as older populations to maintain fitness training on a regular basis, according to the researchers. Those who use e-bikes on a regular basis benefit permanently in terms of fitness and other factors including fat metabolism, blood pressure, and overall mental well being, showing the important indication of the preventive potential of e-bikes.
Materials provided by University of Basel.
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Christoph Höchsmann, Steffen Meister, Damiana Gehrig, Elisa Gordon, Yanlei Li, Monique Nussbaumer, Anja Rossmeissl, Juliane Schäfer, Henner Hanssen, Arno Schmidt-Trucksäss. Effect of E-Bike Versus Bike Commuting on Cardiorespiratory Fitness in Overweight Adults. Clinical Journal of Sport Medicine, 2018; 28 (3): 255 DOI: 10.1097/JSM.0000000000000438