An examination of the contribution of e-bikes to older adults’ mobility, physical activity and social participation

01 October 2016 → 30 September 2019
Research Foundation - Flanders (FWO)
Research disciplines
  • Medical and health sciences
    • Health promotion and policy
fysical activity social participation mobility
Project description

Worldwide, population ageing challenges societies to come up with strategies that foster active and healthy ageing. A crucial component of active ageing is the maintenance of mobility, which is closely interlinked with physical activity and social participation. At first sight, electrical bicycles (ebikes) may offer a solution to promote older adults’mobility, physical activity and social participation. However, more information about e-bike user and trip characteristics and e-bike safety is needed before developing interventions aiming to stimulate e-bike use among older adults.

The primary aim of the project is to examine the effects of e-bikes on older adults’mobility, physical activity and social participation. Secondly, we aim to examine whether e-bikes are healthequitable according to age, gender, socio-economic status and physical capacity. Thirdly, we aim to examine the safety-concerns related to e-bike use among older adults.

Four studies are presented; (1) a qualitative study using focus groups, (2) a cross-sectional study, (3) a randomized controlled trial and (4) a prospective matched cohort study. The quantitative studies will apply GPS travel diary surveys and accelerometry to objectively and comprehensively measure transport behaviour and physical activity. The results of this project will provide valuable insights into the potential contribution of e-bikes to foster active and healthy ageing in the growing population of older adults.