Effect of E-Bike Versus Bike Commuting on Cardiorespiratory Fitness in Overweight Adults: A 4-Week Randomized Pilot Study

Christoph Höchsmann, Steffen Meister, Damiana Gehrig, Elisa Gordon, Yanlei Li, Monique Nussbaumer, Anja Rossmeissl, Juliane Schäfer, Henner Hanssen, Arno Schmidt-Trucksäss

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objective:To assess if active commuting with an electrically assisted bicycle (e-bike) during a 4-week period can induce increases in cardiorespiratory fitness measured as peak oxygen uptake (Vo2peak) in untrained, overweight individuals, and if these changes are comparable with those induced by a conventional bicycle.Design:Four-week randomized pilot study.Setting:Controlled laboratory.Participants:Thirty-Two volunteers (28 men) participated. Seventeen {median age 37 years [interquartile range (IQR) 34, 45], median body mass index [BMI] 29 kg/m2 [IQR 27, 31]} were randomized to the E-Bike group and 15 [median age 43 years (IQR 38, 45), median BMI 28 kg/m2 (IQR 26, 29)] to the Bike group.Interventions:Participants in both groups were instructed to use the bicycle allocated to them (e-bike or conventional bicycle) for an active commute to work in the Basel (Switzerland) area at a self-chosen speed on at least 3 days per week during the 4-week intervention period.Main Outcome Measures:Vo2peak was assessed before and after the intervention in an all-out exercise test on a bicycle ergometer.Results:Vo2peak increased by an average of 3.6 mL/(kg·min) [SD 3.6 mL/(kg·min)] in the E-Bike group and by 2.2 mL/(kg·min) [SD 3.5 mL/(kg·min)] in the Bike group, with an adjusted difference between the 2 groups of 1.4 mL/(kg·min) [95% confidence interval,-1.4-4.1; P = 0.327].Conclusions:E-bikes may have the potential to improve cardiorespiratory fitness similar to conventional bicycles despite the available power assist, as they enable higher biking speeds and greater elevation gain.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)255-261
Number of pages7
JournalClinical Journal of Sport Medicine
Volume28
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - May 1 2018

Keywords

  • V o
  • active commuting
  • cardiorespiratory fitness
  • electric bicycle

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation

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