Helpful history of electric bikes
European Research into the benefits and market for e-bikes
Electric Bikes in Healthcare: GP Practices and Mental Health
As we look progressively at how we can make a real change to our lives for the better, cycling is widely recognised by healthcare professionals as a great way to transform ourselves and our lifestyle. Not only is it a way to stay fit, it is also a money saving solution to increasing car costs and fuel price rises. For those who want to make a commitment to change and want to make promises that they can live up to, the electric bike is a big step towards a real improvement in quality of life.
People are sometimes mistaken that electric bikes are aimed at enticing current cyclists away from regular bikes, but they are actually to give people who rarely cycle the impulse to do so far more regularly.
Surgeries in the UK are catching on to the benefits of offering electric bikes to patients and staff. Schemes to loan e-bikes to patients for a period of around two weeks are already in place at some medical practices. This allows people to re-discover their love of cycling without being daunted by the prospect of heavy exercise.
By using e-bikes, people can build up the amount of exercise they do over time, as they are in control how much effort you put in. E-bikes greatly reduce the risk of over-exertion in a workout. Seeing bikes as a leisurely activity that can be easily incorporated into day to day trips to the shops or bike rides around town makes it much more enticing: almost exercise in disguise.
As well as the physical benefits of exercise, there are clear links between cycle use and improvements to overall mental health and spiritual well-being. For many depressed patients, with financial constraints around owning and running a car, but with challenging hills and current levels of fitness to ride a regular bike, the electric bike has great potential to help them overcome their problems, in combination with talking therapies and medication, due to the psycological benefits of the freedom the e-bike would provide them in terms of accessing places, services and friends.
Studies show that e-bike users cycle further and more frequently than owners of regular bicycles and they gain moderate exercise, in line with the recommendation of 30 minutes of moderate exercise 5 times each week. After the trial, the hope is patients feel far more comfortable at the prospect of cycling regularly, and that they invest in their own bicycle or e-bike.
E-bike manufacture, Juicy Bikes have been talking to practices about these opportunities.
Caythorpe & Ancaster Medical Practice state that they “are committed to initiatives that lead to our patients taking regular and appropriate exercise” in regards to their own electric bike scheme that they have had in place for three years.
Juicy spoke to Doctor Antony Watts about its success:
“All the patients and staff loved it. The bikes all have pedal assist so the harder you pedal the more assistance you get, which is great as each person got a good workout but was still using less energy. They are great for everyone: people with arthritis, people with weight problems and people who have not cycled for a long time, with the step through frame making it easy to use. Quite a few of our patients and staff have gone on to buy e-bikes and some normal bikes after using ours, which is precisely what we want from the scheme: a commitment to exercise that’s easy to keep.”
Dr Julian Orton has also recently written about the benefits of GPs using e-bikes for home visits and commuting, stating that cycling will “provide a talking point, if not an inspiring example, for your patients.” Dr Orton talks of savings in fuel, reducing his carbon footprint, making tax savings on the e-bike and the e-bike enabling him to carry out most home visits by cycling.
Growing number of clinical trials around the world
The effects of active commuting with an e-bike, as compared with a “classic” bike, on cardiorespiratory fitness and vascular health are largely unknown. To assess whether active commuting with an e-bike or a classic bike increases peak oxygen consumption (VO2peak) in untrained and overweight individuals.
a revolution taking place in ‘last mile’ deliveries with e-cargo bikes!
All totally awsome….and going to make a great impact on reducing congestion and air quality problems linked to all those internet deliveries being made to people in our city centres!
With on-board power, every e-bike will be a smart-bike
…and with ‘Internet of Things’ bike locks that can last 500 days before charging, such as those being developed by AirDonkey I guess we can share any bike we like