eBike in leisure and tourism - Pedelecs as ideal fitness devices for enhancing health


Erik Tute

Project partners


In Germany, like in many other countries, the population in working age is diminishing. It is tried to counterbalance this by longer working lifetimes. Unfortunately over the last decades, physical activity was reducing steadily, which has some negative effects on public health and conflicts with the goal of longer working lifetimes, because health and physical fitness are an essential factor for working ability [1].
The WHO recommends that "In order to improve cardiorespiratory and muscular fitness, bone health, reduce the risk of NCDs and depression ... Adults aged 18–64 should do at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity throughout the week ..." [2].
Employer driven actions for promotion of health and physical activity in order to boost working ability and longer working lifetimes should be started early in the lifetime to get the best results. Such actions can be sponsored with a tax exemption of 500€/Year.
Active traveling to work and back home can be used to achieve a big part of the 150min weekly training recommended by the WHO.
An English study found that 53% of 1164 participants used their bicycle casually on their travel to work, but with growing distance bicycle usage decreases. Only one quarter of the participants reaches 150min/week for some periods. With increasing age the percentage of people using their bicycle is decreasing. For the purpose of prevention continuance of physical activity would be especially important [3]. Tin Tin S. et al. also showed that for each km/h of wind bicycle usage decreases by 0,9% [4].
Pedelecs could reduce barriers for bicycle usage like contrary wind, long distances or too much struggle. An intelligent training system could be used to make sure, that there is still enough moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity done by the cyclist.

[1] Airila A, Hakanen J, Punakallio A, Lusa S, Luukkonen R. Is work engagement related to work ability beyond working conditions and lifestyle factors? Int Arch Occup Environ Health. 2012 Nov;85(8):915-25. doi: 10.1007/s00420-012-0732-1. Epub 2012 Jan 21.
[2] WHO |Physical Activity and Adults [Internet]. WHO [cited: 2013 Jul 10] Available from: http://www.who.int/dietphysicalactivity/factsheet_adults/en/index.html.
[3] Panter J, Griffin S, Jones A, Mackett R, Ogilvie D. Correlates of time spent walking and cycling to and from work: baseline results from the commuting and health in Cambridge study. Int J Behav Nutr Phys Act. 2011 Nov 10;8:124. doi: 10.1186/1479-5868-8-124.
[4] Tin Tin S, Woodward A, Robinson E, Ameratunga S. Temporal, seasonal and weather effects on cycle volume: an ecological study. Environ Health. 2012 Mar 8;11:12. doi: 10.1186/1476-069X-11-12.