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Exploring the feasibility of a 6-week electric-bike intervention with behavioural support in Australia.
journal contributionposted on 2023-11-21, 04:43 authored by J McVicar, Michelle KeskeMichelle Keske, SF O'Riordan, Lewan ParkerLewan Parker, Andrew BetikAndrew Betik, Ralph MaddisonRalph Maddison
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.