Are Kick Scooters Bad for Knees

Fact: riding a kick scooter is endless fun. And it burns unwanted calories. But what does it do to the rider’s knees? Is scooting a high-impact outdoor activity like running? In other words, are kick scooters bad for knees? This post (hopefully) answers all these important scooting-related questions for you and your loved ones.

Related: How to Purchase the Right Kick Scooter for Your Child

Before we continue, let’s get this out of the way: the information provided in this post isn’t meant to be medical advice of any kind. If you have any concerns about riding a scooter to work or allowing your child to commute to school on it, consult your family doctor for professional advice on the same.

What I write here is mostly what I’ve learned while researching this question mixed with a bit of my personal experience riding a scooter. I hope you’ll walk away with an idea of two so you can enjoy scooting to the max.

Related: Can You Ride a Kick Scooter on the Sidewalk?


Are Kick Scooters Bad for Knees?

Even though it’s a great way to raise one’s heart rate and burn fat, riding a scooter is still a low-impact outdoor activity. Low-impact exercises such as scooting and walking pile much less stress and pressure on the knees compared to higher-impact exercises such as running and cycling. According to Swifty Scooters, scooting lies somewhere between running and cycling in terms of impact. Riding a kick is even gentler than jogging. Since one leg is on the deck while the other is on the ground, the impact to the knees can be likened to walking up stair set.

Do Scooter Riders Often Complain of Knee Issues?

YouTube video
An adult swallows his pride and decides to use a kick scooter as a last-mile transporter.

It’s not common for scooter riders to complain of knee pain, but this doesn’t necessarily mean scooting is the right outdoor activity for everyone. If you have any doubts concerning the overall condition of your knees, seek your doctor’s opinion on whether scooting would be good or bad for your knees.

Scooting is Like Achieving More While Actually Doing Less

Since scooting results in lower impact than running and cycling, riders end up doing exercising longer and harder, gaining greater health and fitness benefits. And because it burns calories much faster than cycling, you never need to commit to doing this full-body workout for very long distances to get fitness benefits.

Is Scooting Good Exercise?

Yes, scooting/scootering is great exercise that burns calories better than walking, and even cycling. According to a study done by the University of Brighton, riding a scooter for just 45 minutes burns up to 350 calories/hour. And burning 350 calories/hour is like losing 1 pound of body weight every week.

Walking for the same amount of time (45 minutes) expends just 149 calories/hour while riding a bike burns 270 calories/hour. However, running is a more intense exercise compared to scooting, walking, or cycling, burning a staggering 450 calories/hour.

In the end, scooting is a low-impact exercise that burns body fat much better than walking or cycling. Even scooting has always been mostly associated with kids, more and more adults everywhere are taking it up and living more active, healthier lives.

Is Riding a Scooter Better Than Walking?

When the average person walks, they’re traveling at an average speed of 3 miles per hour. And when the same person jogs, they’re traveling at an average speed of 5 miles per hour. By comparison, a kick scooter rolls down streets and other paths at an average speed of 7 miles per hour. So, scooting gets you to your destination much faster than walking.

In fact, when you ride a scooter as opposed to walking, the distance you’ll cover in 30 minutes is twice the distance you’d walk in the same amount of time. Here’s simple chart showing the estimated distances a person would cover doing different activities namely walking, running, and scooting.

Scooting is a Higher-Impact Exercise Compared to Scooting; But Both Are Low Impact

In terms of impact to the knee, let’s be honest here and just admit that walking is a lower impact exercise compared to scooting. Unless you’re walking up stairs, regular walking is more forgiving to your knees than is riding a scooter. But the impact isn’t too much more that your knees start hurting after a while.

All that said, how your knees feel after scooting versus walking is purely a personal experience, but it’s TRUE that both walking and scooting are low-impact activities, and that scooting does more for your fitness requirements compared to walking.

And yes, you get a full-body workout when you scoot, which is what happens when you run or ride a bike. If you notice knee pain after scooting for some time, it’s best to contact your physician for a professional opinion on whether to quit scooting or whatever.

Is Scooting a Good Alternative to Running?

Running burns more calories on average than scooting, but running impacts your knees harder compared to scooting. Both exercises are good for fitness enhancement, but there’s a good reason a complete beginner would end up preferring scootering over running.

With scooting, it’s easier to pack intense action into a short period of time or travel for a longer distance without exerting too much force on your knees. In other words, scooting enables you enjoy variable exercise for variable fitness benefits.

If you’ve been running for a while and felt like running just isn’t your thing, I encourage you to invest in a decent adult scooter such as the xxx and see how you like it. Chances are you’ll ditch running for good and scooter the heck out of every every minute of your life. Scooting is a super addictive outdoor activity, don’t say I didn’t warn you!

Scooting Can Help You Spice Up Your Outdoor Life While Boosting Motivation

We’ve all been there and felt it. You pour lots of effort and enthusiasm into your first run through the local woods and kind of enjoy it. It’s not easy, you know. The second time? The knees and legs are a little sore, and who wants more of a painful experience?

If you persist and get past the resistance, you’ll do the second run, and the third, and the fourth one, and the what? Boredom starts setting in, especially if you’re always running the same route each time. If you’re not careful, you might end up not doing your runs and dreading the very idea of being out there running.

If that ever happens to you, don’t allow frustration to wrestle down your motivation. Instead, try to vary your exercise regimen in some way. Because according to research carried out by the University of Florida, varying your workout regime fortnightly over a 2-month period can help people enjoy exercising more.

What’s more, modifying your workout routine makes it more likely that you’ll stick it out and not give up. If that’s not a good enough reason to start mixing up things and adding an activity such as scooting to your exercise regime, nothing will ever be.

Final Thoughts

Scooting is a good outdoor activity, one that speeds up your heart rate and even helps you lose weight. It’s less hard on the knees than jogging, running, and cycling. In fact, it burns more calories per unit time compared to walking and cycling. And while it impacts the knees more than does walking, the exertion isn’t worse than climbing stairs.

While scooting is more impactful to the knees than walking, it’s still a low-impact outdoor activity. Plus, it’s twice as fast as walking to boot.

Are you ready to get into scooting? Consider buying a good beginner kick scooter for your kid and get everyone in the family involved in fitness. The whole family needs to be out there riding things or jogging or skating or whatever. Not in the house the entire time watching crap. Here’s a detailed a parent’s guide to help you choose the best scooter for a kid.


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