What are the health benefits of eBikes? What points need to be considered? Interview with an expert on the subject.
Sport is healthy. This is a known fact. Nevertheless, many people do not get sufficient exercise. Almost half of Germans do little or no sport at all. Frequently stated reasons include a lack of motivation or physical limitations. But why are physical activity, fitness and exercise so important? And how much exercise is good for you? What contribution can the eBike make in this regard? Physiotherapist Philipp Hausser provides the answers.
Let me begin with a few figures: More than half of the population in Germany is overweight. 400,000 to 500,000 Germans are fitted with a permanent prosthesis every year – and the figure is increasing. Moreover, nearly all Germans suffer from back pain at least once in their lifetime. The most common cause of health problems such as excess weight and joint complaints is a lack of exercise. Whether one considers the cardiovascular system, the joints or even the brain: Sporting activities promote the oxygen supply throughout the body and can slow down ageing as well as degenerative processes. Exercise promotes and maintains health.
Daily exercise can prevent diseases. There is even evidence that 15 minutes of physical activity a day is enough to increase life expectancy by three years. The World Health Organisation recommends 150 minutes of moderate exercise per week – i.e. accelerated pulse, getting slightly out of breath – in order to achieve positive effects. In principle: any form of physical activity is better than none at all.
Cycling is highly recommendable for people who experience pain when walking because loading of the joints is easier to control with this form of sport. In our practices, we use the bicycle ergometer for getting back into cycling, for example after an operation, to warm up before a training unit, or for endurance training and for losing weight.
The particular advantage of the eBike is that the load can be adjusted and adapted to the rider's stamina and state of health. As a result, the eBike offers patients a great opportunity to remain active immediately after joint replacement. You can therefore gradually work you way up to more intensive loads. The electric support enables people who are in poor physical shape to compensate for the prevailing physical situation. Furthermore, the eBike is already being used today in professional sports – for example, by the national football team – for regenerative training sessions or to escape from the everyday football routine.
The support provided by the eBike and the rapid progress it makes possible can motivate people to use the “sports equipment” slightly more frequently. Distances also feel shorter on a eBike. The eBike can also be used for routes that would normally be covered by car, for example for commuting to work or doing the weekly shop. Exercise is integrated into everyday life as a result. For some people, a fitness tracker that shows the specific successes achieved as a result of the training can also have an additional motivational effect. Here, on-board computers which can be attached directly to the bicycle handlebars are available for the eBike. However, everyone has to decide for themselves what they find motivating. The main thing is that the exercise is enjoyable!
The prerequisite for using an eBike is that the rider's joint mobility is sufficient for mounting the bicycle and that their reactions are sharp enough to respond safely to road traffic incidents. Individuals who use the eBike for health reasons should consult a specialist for advice and have a training schedule drawn up based on a performance test. An ergonomic seating position is a precondition for long-term riding enjoyment and well-being when cycling. It is therefore best to have a dealer check whether the frame, handlebar and saddle heights are appropriate and that everything is correctly adjusted.