Motivating fitness: e-bikes promote health even with obesity and in old age

E-bikes have the same effects on fitness as conventional bicycles

Good news for e-bike friends and interested parties: According to a Swiss study, the effectiveness of e-bikes in terms of health and fitness training is comparable to that of conventional bicycles. Especially for overweight, untrained and older people, the e-bike offers a good opportunity to get fitter.

Scientists from the University of Basel report that the e-bike is effective for promoting health and fitness. It is even comparable to normal bicycles. The researchers found in a study that training with an e-bike is in no way less effective than conventional cycling. The health and fitness benefits are comparable. The results were recently published in the specialist journal "Clinical Journal of Sport Medicine".

Achieve success in four weeks

The Swiss research group from the Department of Sport, Exercise and Health at the University of Basel found in their study work that physical exertion when using the e-bike has comparable health and fitness benefits than conventional cycling. In a relatively short period of four weeks, the scientists were able to document an improvement in the endurance performance of the test subjects.

Obese people benefit from riding an e-bike

Around 30 subjects in the study were classified as overweight and untrained. They had a body mass index between 28 and 29. In preliminary medical examinations, the oxygen absorption capacity (VO2) of the participants was recorded. This value indicates how the body can absorb and utilize oxygen.

Six kilometers three times a week

All subjects had to travel at least six kilometers on at least three days a week. Half of the participants rode without electrical aids, the other half on an e-bike. There were no specifications regarding speed and intensity of the training. Heart rate monitors and GPS devices were used as additional measuring instruments.

Riding an e-bike lowers the risk of dying from heart disease

After four weeks, the subjects were examined again. The astonishing result: measured by their VO2 value, both groups developed their fitness comparatively well. According to the experts, maintaining this improvement is associated with a clinically relevant risk reduction in dying from heart disease. The researchers also found that the subjects' hearts worked more economically in both groups.

Train more motivated thanks to the e-bike

In addition to the improvements that counted for both bike groups, the sports experts were also able to determine that the participants in the e-bike group were traveling at higher speeds on average and also completed more vertical meters. "This gives us an indication that the e-bike can increase motivation and help overweight people as well as older people who would otherwise struggle with regular fitness," says study leader Arno Schmidt-Trucksäss, professor of sports medicine at the University of Basel in a press release on the study results.

Riding a regular e-bike has long-term health benefits

"Anyone who trains regularly with the e-bike benefits in the long term, not only in terms of fitness, but also other factors such as blood pressure, fat metabolism and psyche," sums up the sports professor. According to the research team, the study provides important information on the prevention potential of e-bikes. (vb)

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