Put your speculation down, it's official, riding an e-bike actually does make you healthier.
An American research team at the University of Colorado has published a study that says that using an electric-powered bicycle on a regular basis acts as an effective workout and improves some aspects of cardiovascular health.
The study also stipulates that these resluts were especially clear in riders who had been sedentary before the study began.
The research team issued a plea for 'sedentary commuters' - i.e. individuals who traveled to and from the office in their cars - to take part in a study that would see them commuting via e-bike, or riding for 40 minutes, three times per week for four weeks.
Those taking part in the study were told that they could set their bicycle's pedal assist feature to whatever level of assistance they like. The bikes themselves only assisted riders up to a speed of 20 miles per hour, after which any increase in speed must be person-powered.
Each bike was equipped with a GPS device to monitor the users' participation, and also to obtain extra data. The research team reported that from that data they found that the group of previously sedentary commuters rode at an average speed of 12.5 miles per hour - and none of them had an accident in the four week period.
Participants underwent a number of health tests before the study began, with researchers measuring their blood glucose regulation and fitness, and then had those same parameters measured upon the study's completion.
Upon completion the researches noted marked improvments in the participants' cardiovascular health; witnessing an increase in their aerobic capacities and an improvment in the control of their blood sugar.
The study's lead author pointed out to the University of Colorado's news centre that e-bike riding offers a fantastic, convenient form of exercise.
He said: “Commuting with a pedelec can help individuals incorporate physical activity into their day without requiring them to set aside time specifically for exercise.”