Cybercycling and Children with Behavioral Health Issues

It is widely known that exercise is vital to the development and improvement of both behavior andcognition in children who have certain behavior issues. A recent study has taken a look at whetheror not aerobic cybercycling as an integral part of physical education can help to improve theseissues as well as classroom function.

The results were both statistically and clinically significant. Learn about the effects of cybercyclingexercise on classroom performance and behavior among children with mental health disorders,and how it applies to you.

Cybercycling Exercise and Behavioral Health in Children

The recent study published in the January 2017 issue of Pediatrics took place at a HarvardMedical Schoolaffiliated therapeutic school encompassing grades K10. It utilized a crossoverdesign encompassing 14 weeks, in which 103 subjects randomly assigned underwent a 7weekphysical education program involving aerobic cybercycling curriculum, while a control groupunderwent normal PE without this element.

The results were very significant—the students with cybercycling exercise experienced between32 and 51 percent lower incidents of behavioral, learning and selfregulation problems than thosewithout. This means that phys. Ed. with aerobic cycling is very promising for the purposes ofimproving functioning and selfregulation in the classroom as well as improving behavioral healthamong children.

Behavioral Health Disorders by the Numbers

According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), anywhere from 13 to 20percent of children in the United States experience some sort of behavioral health disorder in anygiven year. Not only are these disorders frighteningly common, they are expensive to treat, andare often associated with chronic conditions like diabetes or asthma.

As such, these students tend to be less likely to partake in aerobic exercise on their own. This inturn leads to a greater risk of cognitive, behavioral and chronic medical disorders.


The results of this study are quite compelling. Children and teens with multiple behavioral healthissues can gain marked benefits from PE curriculum which incorporates aerobic cycling exercises.The odds of displaying disruptive behaviors ranging from radical mood swings to impulsivebehaviors are between 32% and 51% lower in these students than among students who do nothave this form of exercise in their curriculum.

Even more telling is that on the actual days when a interventionbasedcybercycling class was used, the odds of disruptive behaviors declined by anywhere from 71% to 76% as compared tothe control group. These are highly significant results and they show that parents and educationalinstitutions looking to better aid students with BHD issues would do well to incorporate cyclingaerobic exercise into their students’ daily routines.

Helping Students Cope

Unfortunately, we live in a world where STEM education is devaluingthe arts, humanities and physical education. Schools across the nation are seeing cuts to physical ed. classroomtime and budgets, with some areas rededicating efforts towards allowing classroom movement.

Unfortunately, this is a poor substitute for aerobic exercise and the benefits it provides. It may betime to reevaluate the importance of phys. Ed. in the classroom as a result.

If you’re an occupational therapist looking for ongoing employment, TheraEx Staffing Services canhelp you find your next home. Get in touch with us to get started today!

KW: cybercycling, exercise, behavioral health in childrenMeta: Learn about the effects of cybercycling exercise on classroom performance and behavioralhealth in children with mental health disorders.

BlogRey Rivera