When the Jersey government decided to help a limited number of people with the cost of an electric bike, some were naturally sceptical that a motorised two-wheeler could help improve the rider's fitness.
Well thanks to researchers at the University of Colorado at Boulder, we're now beginning to get some idea of the health benefits.
A good workout
Reported in the New York Times, the study, which was originally published in the European Journal of Applied Physiology, found that electric bikes do in fact provide a meaningful workout, particularly for people who aren't used to regular exercise.
The researchers noted that 'riders were healthier and fitter now, with significantly greater aerobic fitness, better blood sugar control, and, as a group, a trend toward less body fat'. Perhaps most importantly, the study found that most of the riders found riding the bikes to be 'a blast' and as such, they were undertaking more physical exercise than they did before the research project began.
So for Islanders who have considered cycling, but are put off by our steep hills and busy roads, electric bikes can provide a useful solution. The boost from the battery gives you the extra power you need to tackle steep hills without working up a sweat, and means you can better keep pace with other traffic on the roads. And despite this motorised help, you can still enjoy the health benefits of pedal power!