Understanding Electric Bike Use in Type 2 Diabetes

Original Article: https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fspor.2023.1150724/full

We know that exercise is beneficial to health but!

Exercise is good for health including for people living with a chronic disease such as type 2 diabetes (T2D), a particularly enjoyable and beneficial type of exercise is cycling.

Sadly, many people with T2D don’t exercise enough. There are many reasons for this in general and for traditional cycling often there are concerns about the effort required especially in areas with hilly terrain. 

e-bikes and health

Electrically-assisted bicycles (e-bikes are an alternative form of active travel overcomes  some of the commonly reported barriers to conventional cycling. While e-bikes have many similarities with conventional bicycles, the electrical assistance requires less effort and leads to greater riding distance and frequency. Using an e-bike has measurable health benefits.

e-bikes and diabetes

In a new study, researchers wanted to find out why people with T2D choose to use electric bikes. The goal was to see if electric bikes could be a good option for T2D management in the future. This study was part of a larger one which is comparing e-cycling intervention with usual -care waitlist for adults with T2D. The participants received e-bike training followed by a 12-week e-bike loan in which they could use the e-bike as they desired.

Electric bikes are fun! 

People who used the e-bikes reported feeling confident about their abilities, believing it would have positive outcomes for their health. Training on how to use e-bikes especially helped participants feel more skilled and confident. Enjoyment was also a big factor that encouraged people to ride e-bikes. Most people ride electric bikes to improve their health, not just because it’s good for the environment. Perhaps in the future, doctors will be prescribing e-bikes instead of expensive drugs!