Exploring the feasibility of a 6-week electric-bike intervention with behavioural support in Australia.

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McVicar, Jenna ORCID: 0000-0001-5007-7223, Keske, Michelle A, O'Riordan, Shane ORCID: 0000-0002-1022-4492, Parker, Lewan ORCID: 0000-0002-5372-1851, Betik, Andrew C and Maddison, Ralph ORCID: 0000-0001-8564-5518 (2023) Exploring the feasibility of a 6-week electric-bike intervention with behavioural support in Australia. Journal of Transport and Health, 33. ISSN 2214-1405


Background: Physical inactivity increases the risk of non-communicable disease development and healthcare-associated burden. Research suggests electric bikes (e-bikes) can support individuals in meeting recommended physical activity (PA) guidelines. This study assessed the feasibility of an e-bike plus a tailored behavioural support intervention for physically inactive overweight or obese adults. Methods: This non-randomized single-group pre-post study saw participants provided with an e-bike free of charge for six weeks. Feasibility was assessed across five domains: 1) feasibility of recruitment, 2) participant retention, 3) intervention adherence, 4) acceptability of questionnaires and lab-based outcome measures and 5) intervention acceptability. Participants completed self-reported measures of PA and self-efficacy for exercise. Lab-based measurements were completed pre-and post-intervention, this included blood pressure, body composition [anthropometrics and dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DEXA)], venous blood glucose, insulin, cholesterol, triglycerides, and cardiorespiratory fitness. Results: Our recruitment strategy saw a total of eight participants (three males and five females) complete the intervention (88.9% retention rate). Participants utilised the e-bike for the intervention duration and rode a mean distance of 299.8 km (SD ± 172.2) over the 6-week intervention period. Participants completed all outcomes with minimal data points missing. Participants’ moderate PA levels and self-efficacy for exercise increased post intervention. Lab-based measures showed a downward trend in body fat percentage, fasting blood glucose and brachial diastolic blood pressure. Conclusion: The recruitment strategy, retention, adherence and acceptability of this study support future research. E-bikes are an acceptable way to help people who are physically inactive increase their PA levels. Furthermore, sustained use may contribute to health benefits and improve overall self-efficacy for exercise.

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Item type Article
URI https://vuir.vu.edu.au/id/eprint/47587
DOI 10.1016/j.jth.2023.101706
Official URL https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/...
Subjects Current > FOR (2020) Classification > 4207 Sports science and exercise
Current > Division/Research > Institute for Health and Sport
Keywords electric bikes; physiology; behaviour change; feasibility; physical activity
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