If instead of a person, an electric motor spins the pedal, then what kind of physical activity can we talk about? Sounds logical, but an alternative hypothesis was put forward two years ago. Firstly, even on modern electric bicycles, pedaling is sometimes necessary. Secondly, the issue is not about the load, but about the motivation and the time spent on the exercise with the bike.
At the University of Basel, Switzerland, a long-term experiment was conducted, for which 32 men and women were selected with clearly overweight, body mass index not lower than 28. But the authors of the study were interested in another parameter: cardiorespiratory function. The body's ability to absorb and burn oxygen, which is essential for physical performance. For typical sedentary townspeople, it is depressingly low, but this indicator can be developed.
All participants were given bicycles and ordered to ride 6 km three times a week for several months. The participants themselves chose the route, speed and training days, plus they did not know which bikes were equipped with GPS sensors for tracking movement and which were not. The first 17 people received e-bikes, the remaining 15 were ordinary bicycles. According to the results of the experiments, the cardiorespiratory function increased in all without exception, but by approximately the same indicators.
The only significant difference was that e-bike riders were more likely to drive at high speeds, where the car did most of the work. To do this, they chose suitable routes and, more often than not, they rode a bicycle without permission, outside the experiment program. There is an increase in motivation - even if people do not want to directly make an effort to lose excess weight, they are much more willing to do active things in general in the presence of such an incentive. And this is differently better and more useful than just sitting and doing nothing.