Would Cycling Help Children in Our Modern Environment?

In 2014 the owner and founder of Specialized Bicycle Company, Mike Sinyard, used his own life experience to create a facility to help fund research into a growing problem in child behavior. Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is estimated to affect from 5 to 10 percent of all children in the Western World.

Mike himself had struggled with ADHD through childhood and as his own children displayed some elements of this condition, he felt that mood and ability to concentrate was improved from time spent cycling. Mike explained that the rhythm or the “Zen” of pedaling combined with moderate exercise formed an orderly system that occupied body and mind. The outcomes displayed benefits of sustained attention, motor skill development and behavior.

So in 2014 the “Specialized Foundation” was formed, a connection was made with Stanford researcher Allan Reiss MD to continue research on brain development and disorders that effect children. This approach was to examine and quantify the benefits of physical activity, principally cycling, on children with or without ADHD.

“As a company of passionate riders, we intuitively recognize the benefits of exercise and cycling on our abilities to focus and wanted to learn more about using cycling and exercise as a potential new symptom management tool for children and their families to consider.”

Now as we also face a growing Obesity problem in our society, which manifest in disorders such as Heart Disease and Diabetes. To include exercise in our lifestyle is becoming more apparent as a necessity to achieve longevity and quality of life. Why not make choices such as cycling that can provide outdoor activity, enhanced mobility and recreational enjoyment. Our environment is changing as all levels of government seek to provide infrastructure that allow regular and positive inclusion of cycling to our lifestyle. Dedicated Cycleways segregated from motor vehicles, designated Mountain Bike Trail parks and Rail Trails all offer enjoyable venues to include cycling as part of a healthy lifestyle for children and the whole family.

The research is in early stages to understand and quantify the relationships that have been observed by families and physicians in this matter. The Specialized Foundation promotes cycling as an alternative to therapeutic drugs to achieve health, academic and social success. A balance of physical activity, and nutrition that would lead to improvements in the social, emotional and physical well-being of children. Learn more at www.SpecializedFoundation.org

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