6.4 million children are diagnosed with ADHD, a common disorder of childhood. This disorder continues to affect many into adulthood, as well. Typically children are treated with Adderall, Ritalin, and Concerta – stimulants that actually lessen the symptoms of ADHD. Unfortunately, these medications come with side effects, including anxiety, nausea, lack of appetite, and insomnia. A new study has shown that cycling may be an effective treatment for ADHD.
ADHD presents with a bevy of symptoms, many of which interfere with learning.
Symptoms of ADHD include:
Inability to focus
Difficulty playing with peers
Taking irrational risks
Benefits of Cycling for ADHD Include:
Current treatments with stimulants do work in many cases to allay these symptoms, but often present side effects that are troublesome. Some children lose their appetites completely and may lose a significant and unhealthy amount of weight. Others experience troubled sleep and anxiety, nausea, and other side effects.
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Studies by Acta Paediatrica, the Journal of Sports and Exercise Psychology, and the American Physical Therapy Association have all shown that exercise and physical activity quell the symptoms of ADHD. Outcomes included better mood, increased ability to process information, increased cognitive activity and time on task, decrease in BMI in overweight children, a readily accepted and retained program, and decreased impulsivity.
Cycling desks, like the one shown above, give students the ability to enjoy movement and the benefits of cycling as they work. As a less expensive alternative, many schools are giving students breaks within the day. During these breaks, students can bike, run, and participate in other movement activities. In many cases, these children are showing significant growth and progress without the use of stimulants and other medications.
In addition to cycling desks, specialized bikes exist with improved safety features for children with ADHD.
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School students with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder may find that cycling programs, both in and out of school, are effective for reducing ADHD symptoms. In addition, kids with ADHD may find that mental health and physical health both improve simply by adding bike rides to their daily routine.
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As physical education, sports, and even recess are being trimmed back, research shows that movement and physical activity can actually increase academic progress and cognitive activity. As bikers and bicycle crash attorneys, we work hard to stay abreast of all the many benefits of cycling. We believe these studies and others currently in progress will show that cycling is incredibly beneficial for young and old, alike!