“Lack of activity destroys the good condition of every human being, while movement and methodical physical exercise save it and preserve it.” Plato
Using an e-bike is an easy and low-impact activity which can significantly improve individual fitness and which has the potential to have a major impact on public health. It helps reduce the risk of a range of health problems, notably heart disease and cancer, the leading preventable causes of premature death. In a country like the UK, where obesity is at epidemic levels among adults and young people, one of the main benefits of electric bike riding is that people can do it as part of their normal daily activity – by cycling to work, to see friends or to the shops – rather than having to find additional time for exercise.
Studies have shown that people who cycle to work experienced a 39% lower rate of all-cause mortality compared to those who did not – even after adjustment for other risk factors, including leisure time physical activity.
Getting on an e-bike bike can yield much the same health benefits as doing a specific training programme. Cycling for an additional 30 minutes on most days of the week, combined with reducing calorie intake, can achieve weight-loss comparable to that achieved by doing three aerobic classes a week. As well as improving physical health, cycling has a positive affect on emotional health – improving levels of well-being, self-confidence and tolerance to stress while reducing tiredness, difficulties with sleep and a range of medical symptoms.
One of the barriers to taking up cycling is a perception of the physical danger posed by motor traffic. However, the real risks are minimal and research suggests that these are outweighed by the health benefits by a factor of around twenty to one. It may be more risky to your health to be sedentary.