Recently there has been an increase in studies focused on the question of whether riding an electric scooter is actually an exercise. And a lot of them provided surprising results.
In this article, we’ll delve a little deeper into this matter and see why riding an electric scooter can be considered exercise.
Is riding an electric scooter exercise?
Electric scooters can be considered a form of exercise, as riding them provides a variety of health benefits. While they may not seem like traditional workout, the positive effects on your body by using them in the long term are definitely there.
What do researchers say?
In general, researchers have come upon two questions that are crucial in determining whether e-scooters can be considered a healthy exercise:
- do injuries occur too often that they outweigh the long-term benefits of e-scooter rides?
- what type of transport does your e-scooter ride replace?
Injuries vs health benefits
Minor injuries are a common concern for dedicated scooter enthusiasts. Falls are almost inevitable in a scooterist’s journey, with the question being more of “when?” and “how bad?” than “if?”.
A 2021 study by Gustave Eiffel University delving into the health impacts of electric scooters found that around 90% of e-scooter-related injuries occur while riding. Losing balance is a primary cause, but the study notes that severe injuries and fatalities from e-scooters are comparably low to those from bikes.
The lingering question is whether the injuries from electric scooter riding outweigh the earlier mentioned health benefits.
The simplest solution is to always wear protective gear while riding your electric scooter. A helmet, kneepads, elbow protectors, and gloves ensure that any potential injuries are minimal, allowing your body to focus on the electric scooter’s health benefits.
Does your e-scooter replace a walk or a car drive?
To assess whether scooter rides positively or negatively impact your health, consider if they replace car commutes or healthier modes like walking or biking.
A 2020 Brigham Young University study in Provo, Utah, explored the overall impact of e-scooters on residents. Surveying 1070 respondents, 43.5% would choose walking if e-scooters were unavailable, while 28.5% would opt for a vehicle.
Interestingly, people mainly use e-scooters to replace walks to local stores or for leisure, not as a substitute for cars or buses. While not inherently negative, it suggests that many riders may not fully realize the health benefits of e-scooters.
To maximize health benefits, consider using e-scooters for work commutes instead of vehicles, while maintaining physical activities like walking for local errands.
Can an e-scooter ride replace a regular workout?
Electric scooter exercise it’s not a substitute for a proper workout like going to the gym or biking, which provides more health benefits. Although it does offers some positive effects on your physical and mental health.
However, choosing a scooter over a car, bus, or train, where minimal effort is required, still offers advantages.
Maintaining an active lifestyle with walking or biking whenever possible is crucial, but for practical work commutes, electric scooters provide a healthier alternative to reduce the impracticality of daily walking or biking.
Health benefits from riding an electric scooter
In terms of health benefits, electric scooters can never beat classic exercises like gym training, jogs, or bike rides.
But that doesn’t mean that e-scooters have no benefits at all, and that they are the “lazy people’s choice”, as many today think.
Electric scooters have health benefits, and while they won’t help you build muscles, or lose tons of weight, they can still aid in improving your balance and your posture, strengthen your legs and core muscles, and positively impact your mental health.
Regular e-scooter rides contribute significantly to improving your overall balance.
Riding an e-scooter requires constant balance, as the rider plays a crucial role in keeping the scooter upright, especially during turns, jumps, avoiding obstacles, or sudden stops.
So, while some may underestimate the importance of balance, it becomes a natural habit as you become more comfortable on your scooter.
And despite not always being aware, your body continually enhances its balance with each ride.
Riding an electric scooter encourages upright standing and good posture, training your body to maintain proper alignment even off the scooter.
The design of decks and stems requires standing completely upright, fostering a straight back and balanced posture.
Regular practice instills this form, helping combat the negative impact of prolonged sitting in today’s desk-centric work culture.
Stronger legs and core muscles
Core muscles are largely considered the main muscle group of your body. They include the whole abdomen and the base portion of your spine.
Strengthening these muscles is crucial for spine and stomach health.
Electric scooter rides contribute to this goal by compelling you to stand on your legs, maintain a straight back, and activate your abdomen for balance, promoting the strength of both core muscles and legs.
Mental health is a big part of health overall.
As work becomes more stressful and drains you from the morning until the afternoon, you must find hobbies that relax your mind and body after an exhausting day.
The fresh air and physical activity of scootering can help reduce this stress and improve your mood by a lot. It can also be a fun and social activity, providing an opportunity to connect with others and take a break from screens and daily responsibilities.
Plus, the convenience and environmental benefits of using an electric scooter instead of a car can boost feelings of accomplishment and sustainability. Not the least, dodging a 40-minute commute while stuck in traffic, and cruising by from work to home in 15-20 minutes instead will feel like a blessing.
Yes, riding an electric scooter can help you burn calories. The amount of calories burned will depend on various factors, including your weight, the intensity of the ride, the duration, and the terrain.
While riding an electric scooter may not provide as intense a workout as some other forms of exercise, it still engages your muscles and requires energy expenditure.
As a rough estimate, a leisurely ride on flat ground using an electric scooter may burn around 80-120 calories per hour. However, if you engage in more intense riding, such as climbing hills or riding at a faster pace, you could burn more calories.
Eco-friendly commuting option
While not a direct health benefit for you as a rider, using an electric scooter as a mode of transportation contributes to environmental sustainability.
Reduced reliance on fossil fuel-powered vehicles can lead to cleaner air, benefiting the overall health of a community.
This dual advantage of supporting environmental sustainability and personal health makes electric scooter commuting a rewarding lifestyle choice.
How to make your e-scooter ride more health-beneficial?
There are a few general rules you can follow to create a regular form of exercise from your e-scooter rides:
- always wear protective gear (helmet, kneepads, elbow pads, gloves, and other scooter accessories);
- set the stem at the right height so you don’t break your posture;
- take it slow and learn the basics of riding an electric scooter so you can avoid accidents and injuries;
- try to replace your car commutes with an electric scooter;
- just have fun, explore new places, and get the best out of your electric scooter.