E-scooter users say riding helps improve mental health

(October 8, 2021) LONDON — World Mental Health Day (Oct. 10) survey data released by Spin, the micro-mobility unit of Ford Motor Company, reveals how e-scooters have a wide range of benefits on one’s mental well being. The majority (70%) of respondents believe riding an e-scooter rented via a hire company helps improve their mental health.

The first of its kind study explored how nearly 1,000 users felt better as a direct result of riding an e-scooter that’s part of the UK Department for Transport’s public hire trials. The results show that e-scooters help provoke positive moods and alleviate negative feelings such stress. Key findings revealed that when riding a hired e-scooter:

    •    87% feel an increased sense of freedom
    •    85% feel relaxed
    •    78% feel mindful as they are able to focus on their immediate surroundings
    •    74% feel less stressed after riding than before their trip
    •    67% agree that it helps clear their mind of negative thoughts and feelings
    •    63% agree that it feels like a digital detox as they are unable to look at their device

People have highly positive associations with how they feel when they ride a hired e-scooter. Almost half (46%) feel adventurous and four out of 10 feel joyful (41%), free (41%) and positive (40%). “Exhilarated and like a soaring eagle” and “back to my childhood” were just some of the emotions spontaneously mentioned by riders when asked how they feel while riding an e-scooter.

The research underpins how riders experience “flow," a concept in positive psychology that refers to the state of mind in which a person becomes fully immersed in an activity and which consequently contributes to a better mental wellbeing. This is aligned with riders feeling joyfulness, an emotion triggered by a chemical reaction in the brain and endorphin release. Renowned media psychologist Emma Kenny supports these results, agreeing that using a public hire e-scooter is a fantastic way for people to not only reduce their carbon footprint but also feel free and embrace a nostalgic, childlike experience in the fresh air:

“It’s fantastic to see research that gives insight into how small pleasures can make a big difference in our everyday lives,'' comments Kenny. “Positively managing our mental health is key to living a happier and healthier life and that’s why it’s so important to take part in activities that are fun and thrilling, and that benefit our lives in a multitude of ways. E-scooters, that are part of the public hire schemes offer the perfect medium to be more environmentally friendly, while letting our inner child run free.

"Whether you’re dashing to a board meeting, or heading for a University lecture, e-scooters offer a great alternative solution to your travel needs. Aside from the accessibility and ease of this kind of transport, you’ll also benefit from the feeling of freedom that comes when traveling from A to B this way. The benefits you receive from fresh air and the great outdoors is a form of informal mindful practice, meaning that you fully appreciate the here and now and experience the present as a gift.”