Regular electric cycling would have a positive impact on the mental health and well-being of seniors, far more than conventional cycling.
Yet another proof of the benefits of sport on aging. According to a British study published in the specialized journal Plos Oneregularly riding an electric bicycle would have a positive impact on the mental health of seniors. And, surprisingly, the electric bike, yet famous for "not being physical enough", would be more efficient than the classic.
To arrive at these conclusions, researchers from the Universities of Reading and Oxford Brookes followed 100 people aged 50 to 83, non-cyclists, for eight weeks. The participants were divided into three groups. The first had to ride a classic bike three times thirty minutes a week. The second followed the same program but with electric bikes. The third, meanwhile, did not ride a bike at all.
At the end of the study, the researchers observed a clear improvement in the cognitive functions of the first two groups. In fact, participants who had cycled regularly were better able to plan, organize and perform tasks submitted by scientists. The latter then followed a few participants via an online questionnaire. Several months later, nearly two-thirds of them still assured that their well-being had improved compared to before the study. In addition, 58% of them said they had continued cycling while 27% had stopped but wanted to recover.
Another noteworthy fact: people who had used an electric bicycle had felt more well-being than the others during the study and thus had better accomplished the cognitive tasks imposed by the scientists.
"Increase the mobility of seniors and reduce their isolation and depression"
Thus, "it is not only the physical activity aspect of cycling that helps seniors, electric bikes require less physical effort than conventional bikes and are often more enjoyable for participants because they can travel longer without having to worry about not being able to come back, they can cover greater distances in less time (...), which encourages them to ride more bikes, and the participants who were doing the electric bike wanted to do more. longer than the others on average (...) Increasing seniors' independence, mobility and reducing their isolation and depression should have positive impacts on their mental health and cognitive function, "the study notes. Another beneficial aspect of these bikes: reconnect seniors with nature by pushing them to spend more time outdoors, argue the researchers.
In conclusion, "we found that some aspects of mental health and well-being increased among participants who used an electric bike within eight weeks." It would be good to see the effects of using the electric bike about the cognition and well-being of a larger sample of participants, over a longer period of time, "says Louise-Ann Leyland, researcher at University College London, in charge of research.
In 2016, a study had already highlighted the benefits of the electric bike, particularly on the heart health of humans. American researchers at the University of Colorado had urged volunteers to barter their vehicles for an electric bike to work at least three times a week. Eventually, they had observed in the participants a loss of 400 grams of body fat, an increase of the maximum oxygen volume in the lungs, and a better blood pressure. In addition, their glucose level was lower two hours after lab-induced hyperglycemia, indicating better control of their blood glucose level.