mobility bike for elderly

Making Mobility Easier - The Impact of E-Bikes On Seniors

Feb 26, 2024


Ebikes have completely changed how people relate to cycling, especially when it comes to older individuals. As people age, it becomes more difficult to find an exercise routine that’s not just enjoyable, but also doable. With weaker joints and much less endurance, people’s options for exercise tend to narrow down. However, with the help of ebikes, it is becoming easier for older people to live a more active lifestyle. But that does beg the question, how are these ebikes making it easier.

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Definition of Electric Bikes

An electric bike, also known as an e-bicycle, pedelecs, electric-assist bike, or pedal-assist bike, is simply a bicycle integrated with a motor and battery that assists the rider while pedaling. They are a popular commuter tool that initially came in the form of an electric scooter.

Paradoxically, the electric bicycle needs to have pedals, and the motor only assists the rider while pedaling, unlike the scooter that propels the rider. However, there are some similarities, like some ebikes also having a throttle.

Electric bikes are designed for seniors but are also a great option for one who loves cycling without getting tired. They are excellent for commuting, rehabilitation, fitness, and smooth and comfortable mobility.

These mobility bikes are perfect for seniors, offering a practical solution for those with arthritis or balance problems. With their pedal-assist feature, electric bicycles provide an enjoyable and effortless riding experience for senior citizens.

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How electric bikes work 

Thanks to the person who discovered adding a motor to the bicycle. Electric bikes comprise three main components: the battery, the engine, and the sensors. This equipment differentiates between the standard bicycles from the electric bikes. These bikes use motors to assist the movement of the pedals and assist in moving forward.

The motor converts the electrical energy into the mechanical work used to turn the bicycle's wheels. Some designs allow the bike to move forward using the motor's power. Three famous spots where the manufacturers place the battery are the front hub, rear hub, and the centre of the bike.
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Some Mobility Challenges Faced By Seniors Today

Many think that after retirement, they will be able to live a peaceful life, but it is not right in all cases. With the passing age, the health of an individual also declines. Many diseases, such as arthritis, obesity, and cardiovascular disorders, victimize a person in the old days. Some common challenges are described as,

1. Physical and mental health

Due to declining strength and reduced physical power to move, many senior citizens get confined to their apartments and become socially isolated. This isolation consequently affects their mental health, and they feel more stressed, prevailed by the negative thoughts. Declining health also plays a vital role in irritation and unpredictable mood swings.

2. Balance issues

It could be difficult for senior citizens to balance their bodies, and there is always a chance that they might not fall while walking because of a lack of muscle strength and grip. Decreased balance and stability increase the risk of falling, making seniors hesitant to move around. This fear can further limit their movement from one place to another and decrease their confidence in mobility. In this way, they get stuck in their residencies and need help to attend social gatherings or travel around their dream places.

3. Chronic health conditions

Seniors generally suffer from many chronic diseases that make it difficult for them to think about mobility. Diseases such as arthritis, heart diseases, diabetes, respiratory conditions, and other age-related joint conditions can cause stiffness and pain, making their movement uncomfortable. These chronic conditions can impact their ability to move quickly and engage in physical activity. 

4. Cognitive impairments

The passing age takes away many things with it as well. The loss of memory, vision and hearing, health, and joy all fade when we grow older. Respectable senior citizens with such kinds of diseases, such as Alzheimer's disease, can lose their spatial awareness and decision-making abilities, increasing the risk of getting disoriented. Furthermore, the impaired vision and hearing make it difficult for them to navigate safely. With these impairments, they may struggle with hearing honks and watching traffic signals, which becomes the cause of their immobility.
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5. Limited accessibility

People living in rural areas might find it challenging to access transportation means or sources of mobility as there are fewer opportunities for public transport. Limited financial resources can also hinder access to assistive devices or mobility aids. These restrictions limit the options available to seniors that can increase their movement. Additionally, the concerns about personal safety in the unfamiliar areas surrounding the mind can be an impactful reason why seniors might think of staying at home rather than moving outside for relaxation.
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Benefits of electric bikes for seniors

1.Assisted pedaling

Electric bikes assist when pedaling. This feature makes it easier for seniors to navigate hills, manage challenging terrains, and comfortably ride longer distances. The assistance is also beneficial for seniors who are facing the issues of reduced strength and mobility. The assisting feature is helpful for people with health restrictions or anyone whose fitness level is below optimum levels.

2. Increased Mobility

Riding an e-bike is more convenient and accessible than driving a car as you age. Driving, with the passing age, becomes more complicated and can drain mental comfort, compromising your mental health. But cycling can help you eliminate a lot of problems. For example, you do not have to worry about parking places, public transport, or gas stations. They are economical and can save you a lot of costs by a straightforward charging mechanism.

3.Healthy heart

An eBike is a golden opportunity to maintain the cardiovascular health of senior citizens as it is a great exercise option. Cardiovascular health is essential because your heart's efficiency declines as you age.
Riding an eBike significantly improves your cardiac pumping. Furthermore, your electric bike is also equipped with numerous assistance levels that can help you to go the extra mile. If you shutter while pedalling, you can finish your ride.

4.Joint-friendly exercises

Naturally, our bodies become stiff and difficult to move as we age. A cycling e-bike rectifies this issue. The electric bike will provide another health benefit: you can move anywhere with less stress on your joints.
The assisting features will help you reduce the physical effort that you put into it. The lower joint impact will eventually allow you to move independently without undue stress on your knees, hips, and ankles.

5.Enhanced mental health

Research shows that riding an electric bike helps improve mental health by helping release endorphins and eradicating depression and anxiety. Endorphins are also known as feel-good chemicals, and their release aids in reducing stress and strain.

While riding an e-bike, your focus will shift from your personal or negative thoughts to the road and your surroundings, helping you lower your stress. Additionally, using an e-bike can reduce your stress level by improving your sleep quality, as your body requires sleep now due to cycling.

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Challenges of Electric Bikes

While electric bikes provide many benefits, they also come with specific challenges. Discussing these challenges as follows,

1.Charging infrastructures

E-bikes, named electrical, are dependent upon the battery rather than gasoline. The risk of running out of battery power lies with the electric bikes. The battery of these vehicles has a limited capacity for storing energy. This makes the eBikes suitable for short trips but could be more effective for longer rides or trips.
Additionally, the availability of charging infrastructure can be challenging, especially in areas with no dedicated e-bike charging stations. This may limit the convenience of charging while away from home.

2.Initial costs

Besides, the electric bike can be economical in many ways, as it reduces the cost of fuel and is also compatible with nullifying many expenses, such as parking charges; initially, the purchase cost of an e-bike is comparatively higher than that of a traditional bicycle. This heavy initial investment can be a barrier for some potential buyers, as it costs some thousand bucks. Naturally, the more comfort you want, the more you pay for it.
The cost also includes specialized maintenance and repairing or replacing electrical equipment generally required periodically by most eBikes. Regularly maintaining the eBikes to promote efficiency can be more expensive than traditional bike maintenance.

3.Difficulty in getting on and off

Generally, the electric bikes are low and are easy to get off and on, but when we specifically talk about the old citizens, it may cause some problems. Electric bikes are heavier than traditional bicycles, making it challenging for seniors, generally those suffering from joint-related diseases, to lift their legs over the frame. Electric bikes without a step-through frame can be less accessible to seniors, and incorrectly adjusted saddle heights can lead to mounting and unmounting difficulties. A saddle set too high also requires more effort to reach the ground when stopping. Fear of falling can also hinder choosing an electric bike for mobility.

4.Malfunctioning of Battery

The battery of an electric motor suspects damage when used improperly or neglectfully. There can be many reasons for the battery damage, such as moisture accumulation. Moisture accumulation generally arises due to high-pressure washing, posing a risk even when the terminals are disconnected.
Other factors, such as discharging the battery by leaving the functions running and keeping the electric bike in extreme temperatures, can lead to irreparable damage. Overcharging also shortens the lifespan of the batteries.

5.Motor dysfunction

Electric bikes are commonly manufactured with Hub Motors, which can cause the problem as they are noisy. This issue arises if the motor has worn out gears, disk breaks, or bearings. Sometimes, a loose bolt can also be the reason for motor noise. This noise can be irritating when you are planning to have a long ride.

Additionally, sometimes, the hub motors stop spinning due to a problem in the controller. The controller can be loosely connected or disconnected, so the motor does not get the electric spark to start. 

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How do you choose the right electric bike?

With advancements in the industry, automobiles have also transformed from manual to auto within a short period. Every individual wants to upgrade their vehicles from classic to modern electronic cars and bikes that can provide more features, leisures, class, and comfort. Choosing the right electric bike for oneself is challenging because many industries and companies manufacture top-notch electric bikes equipped with hundreds of features.

A high-performance electric bike is essential for anything that can handle tough off-roading, including uneven terrain with sharp drops or inclines of terrain. An electrically powered bike or one with fat tires is recommended if you are searching for an electric bike capable of traversing various terrains. The selection of electric bikes should consider the purpose of their use. For example, you must buy a cargo-style electric bike with a more robust frame and extensive storage to buy goods and stuff. 

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EBike is a revolution in the automobile industry that is beneficial for old citizens for mobility, there are many benefits that an e-bike can provide along with some cons that can be addressed with a strategy. Many industries are in a race to provide you with simple and advanced electric bikes with maximum efficiency rate and minimum effort to regulate the functionality of bikes.NAKTO has been on the top of the leaderboards and is famous in the market for its reliable electrical bikes and its commitment to providing you with advanced technology at an affordable price.

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