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Exercise for the elderly: Pedelecs are a good start

Exercise is becoming more and more important for health, especially with age. One study sees electric bikes as the perfect workout.

Electric bicycles, also known as pedelecs, can do just that

According to a study, it can be a good way for older people and those who aren’t physically trained to exercise more in everyday life. Scientists from Hannover Medical School (MHH) explain that they offer the opportunity to take people who would otherwise not use a bicycle at all out of the car and onto their bicycles, for example to go to work, shop or meet friends. .

For the analysis published in the journal “BMJ Open Sport & Exercise Medicine”, the team evaluated data from 1,250 pedelec cyclists and 629 conventional cyclists from Germany, which were collected between February 2017 and December 2019. It was tested whether the ‘Weekly exercise goal of 150 minutes of moderately intense physical activity or 75 minutes of vigorous physical activity recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO) while cycling was met. In addition, information on accidents involving bicycles over a 12-month period was included.

Conventional bicycle users therefore rode more frequently and generally spent more time on the bicycle.Their heart rate values ​​were significantly higher than those of pedelec users and were more likely to meet WHO targets, their risk of accidents. it was slightly lower.

The conclusion is that the physical exertion and therefore the health benefits for users of conventional bicycles are greater, but an electrically assisted bicycle is a good start to move more in everyday life, especially for the elderly, overweight. and people suffering from diseases, the MHH-researcher.

According to the analysis, pedelec cyclists are on average older than conventional cyclists, have a higher body mass index, play less sports and also suffer from more diseases such as heart disease, hypertension, diabetes, asthma or allergies, but they make more free time activities.

Thanks to a motor, pedelecs can be driven with less effort. Sales figures have been on the rise in Germany for years. According to the Zweirad-Industrie-Verband (ZIV), their share of all bicycles sold was 43% in 2021.

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