This Is Your Brain on E-Scooters

A survey from scooter operator Spin indicates that e-scooter users experience a boost in relaxation and positive feelings after a ride.

1 minute read

December 22, 2021, 9:00 AM PST

By Diana Ionescu @aworkoffiction

Coronavirus and Lime

Vlad Ispas / Shutterstock

E-scooters could have a surprising side benefit, reports Kea Wilson: a boost to their riders' mental health.

In the first-ever study of the holistic health impacts of e-scooters, researchers from micromobility outfit Spin found that 69 percent of the company’s riders either 'agreed' or 'strongly agreed' with the statement 'riding a shared scooter improves my mental health' — with a majority of riders further specifying that the mode made them feel more relaxed, less stressed, and more mindful of their surroundings and fellow road users.

Research has repeatedly shown that active transportation has positive mental health outcomes, writes Wilson. While most studies have focused on more cardio-intensive modes like biking and walking, electric devices can have similarly positive effects, letting people "experience their streets at human scale," zip past traffic, and socialize with friends and family in an outdoor setting, a benefit that became more important during the pandemic.

While the report is only a small step in understanding the effects of e-scooter use on mental health across different demographic groups and contexts—a rider with access to protected bike lanes might experience more joy than one having to navigate treacherous traffic conditions—the results show that "sustainable transportation may be an overlooked tool in fighting America’s mental health crisis."

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