Good for the Planet, Good for the Mind: 70 Percent of E-Scooter Hire Scheme Users Say Riding Helps Improve Their Mental Health

Three people wearing helmets and standing on scooters chat in a park near a lake.
  • First of its kind study finds a broad range of benefits when riding e-scooters on one’s mental wellbeing
  • Riders de-stressed (74 percent) and relaxed (85 percent), with two-thirds (67 percent) agreeing that riding an e-scooter helps clear their mind of negative thoughts and feelings
  • Two-thirds (67 percent) feel more socially connected as it allows them to make personal relations and socialise with friends and family

London, October 8, 2021 – This World Mental Health Day (10 October), new survey data* released by Spin, the micromobility unit of Ford Motor Company, reveals how e-scooter hire schemes have a wide range of benefits on one’s mental wellbeing. The majority (70 percent) of respondents believe riding an e-scooter rented via a hire scheme 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 percent) feel adventurous and four out of ten feel joyful (41 percent), free (41 percent) and positive (40 percent). “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 Emma. “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, whilst 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 travelling 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.” 

Steve Pyer, UK & Ireland Country Manager at Spin said, “At a time when mental wellbeing is in the spotlight more than ever, it is incredibly rewarding to see that e-scooters that are part of the national trials are not only beneficial for the environment but for our rider’s mental health too. E-scooter hire schemes provide the freedom and flexibility for exploration and fresh air does wonders to relieve stress and anxiety, leaving you happier and more relaxed at the end of your journey or commute!”

About the survey

The findings are based on responses from 996 Spin riders from Brentwood, Braintree, Basildon, Colchester, Chelmsford, Clacton-on-Sea and Milton Keynes. Data was collected in August 2021. 

About Spin

Spin is the micromobility unit of Ford Motor Company, operating electric bikes and electric scooters on North American and European cities and campuses. Spin launched the first-ever stationless bike share program in the United States and was instrumental in crafting the world’s first mobility permitting system that is now used around the world. Spin consists of a diverse team of experienced professionals from government and private sectors, and the transportation advocacy world, all of whom are committed to fulfilling the company’s mission- to help create a world full of 15 minute cities.

Partner With Spin.

Spin is transforming cities and communities by offering accessible, affordable and sustainable forms of personal mobility.

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