Physical activity of electric bicycle users compared to conventional bicycle users and non-cyclists: Insights based on health and transport data from an online survey in seven European cities

From: Physical activity has been widely associated with beneficial health effects. The use of electric-assist bicycles (e-bikes) can lead to increased or decreased physical activity, depending on the transport mode substituted.

This study aimed to compare the physical activity levels of e-bikers and conventional bicycle users (cyclists) as well as across e-bike user groups based on the transport mode substituted by e-bike. Physical activity, transport, and user-related parameters were analyzed. Data from the longitudinal online survey of the PASTA project were used. The survey recruited over 10,000 participants in seven European cities.

Engaging in regular physical activity is vital for maintaining good health and well-being. It helps to improve cardiovascular fitness, strengthen muscles and bones, and enhance mental health. Whether it’s through brisk walking, jogging, swimming, or participating in sports, staying active can reduce the risk of chronic illnesses like heart disease, diabetes, and obesity. Aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise per week, combined with muscle-strengthening activities. Find activities you enjoy and make them a part of your routine to lead a healthier, more active lifestyle. Always consult a healthcare professional before starting a new exercise regimen, especially if you have underlying health conditions.

Body movement levels, measured in Metabolic Equivalent Task minutes per week (MET min/wk), were similar among e-bikers and cyclists (4463 vs. 4085). E-bikers reported significantly longer trip distances for both e-bikes (9.4 km) and bicycle trips (8.4 km) compared to cyclists for bicycle trips (4.8 km), as well as longer daily travel distances for e-bikes than cyclists for bicycles (8.0 vs. 5.3 km per person, per day, respectively). Travel-related activities of e-bikers who switched from cycling decreased by around 200 MET min/wk., while those switching from private motorized vehicles and public transport gained around 550 and 800 MET min/wk. respectively.

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