Every biker knows the feeling of release when they hop on their machine and take a long, relaxing ride. Motorcycle riders keep talking about wind therapy and its benefits, explaining to the world that riding alone is enough for decreasing stress and promoting a happier life.
However, anecdotal and empirical evidence are two different things.
A claim is considered anecdotal if it comes from personal experience, but if it’s a result of scientific experiments and observation, it’s no longer only anecdotal, but empirical.
Since recently, wind therapy is no longer only an anecdotal claim. A scientific study was conducted to prove if there are real, objective benefits to riding a motorcycle, and the result is no surprise for bikers, but it might be for the rest of the world.
Photo by TDelCoro
In collaboration with Harley-Davidson, the UCLA Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior conducted a study that included 50 healthy motorcycle riders. The riders were asked to ride their own motorcycles in normal weather conditions over a measured distance of exactly 22 miles.
Two criteria were used for this study. The first criteria were measuring the rider’s brain activity while riding, and the second one was to measure their hormone levels before and after they have completed the ride.
All the subject riders were hooked up to a mobile EEG, a device that detects the brain’s electrical activity. In addition to measuring the hormone levels and brain activity during the ride, the riders were also monitored before the ride, while driving a car, and while resting.
The researchers observed that the ride decreased the participants’ levels of stress by 28 percent. The 20-minute ride also increased the riders’ heartbeat by 11 percent, and their adrenaline levels by 27 percent. What also increased is the rider’s focus and alertness.
With scientifically proven evidence that riding a motorcycle decreases stress and increases focus, it becomes perfectly clear why bikers are usually happy, laid back people with great attention to detail.
Next time you come home from work, feeling all stressed out and under the weather, instead of laying back and taking a nap, grab a bike and go for a 20-minute motorcycle ride instead. Experienced bikers are well aware of this, and it’s about time for the rest of the world to know about the divine benefits of wind therapy.