Lime Scooters and Fitness
First, it was ride sharing, then we moved on to house, car and dog sharing, so it comes naturally that the latest sharing scheme comes in the form of a dockless scooter.
If you live in Brisbane or the Gold Coast, you no doubt have seen them all over town; the latest craze in Australia is an electric scooter you can jump on wherever you happen to come across one. Lime Scooters have been approved by a few city council organisations for trial periods across major cities in the country. If the scooter companies have their way, scooter sharing will soon become part of the norm of our everyday lives in some cities.
Brisbane has been the first city to fully embrace the e-scooter way of life with an initial 3-month trial period being extended due to popular demand. Previously in Brisbane, we've seen much success in the citycycle scheme which encouraged cycling to work to ease road congestion and lessen environmental impact, not to mention the health benefits reaped.
But should we be applauding ourselves for leading the charge or concerned about the fitness and wellbeing of our inactive citizens?
E-scooters are a great idea but let's look at some of the detrimental effects they could be having on us:
Often the only exercise people get is when they are on their way to and from work. With the introduction of e-scooters, this incidental exercise is now obsolete for some people There have been many incidences of people getting injured from doing the wrong thing, such as drink scooting and not wearing helmets Many scooters have ended up being thrown in the river which could have an impact on our marine life - the exact opposite effect e-scooters are supposed to be having on our environment.
There have been some brake faults of Lime Scooters in New Zealand resulting in some injuries to riders It's often hard to get up to speed in crowded areas (Lime Scooters can reach speeds of 23km/h). In these situations, it would be far easier and healthier to just walk.
Of course, there are some upsides too!
When you can get up to speed without killing pedestrians, you can get to where you're going quickly.
- They're good for the environment and ease congestion on the roads
- They're inexpensive to rent and easy to find around the inner suburbs
- Renting one is much easier than carrying your own bike or scooter onto public transport with you and finding a place to lock it up at the office where it won't be stolen.
Even though they're great fun, if you're a sedentary person, maybe think twice before hopping on an e-scooter or consider cutting back on your usage. It's important to be active every day, even if it is just walking between public transport and work.
Love them or hate them, e-scooters may be here to stay, and we all need to work together to ensure we're using them safely and responsibly.