It is widely known that exercise is vital to the development and improvement of both behavior and cognition in children who have certain behavior issues. A recent study has taken a look at whether or not aerobic cybercycling as an integral part of physical education can help to improve these issues as well as classroom function.
The results were both statistically and clinically significant. Learn about the effects of cybercycling exercise 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 January 2017 issue of Pediatrics took place at a Harvard Medical School-affiliated therapeutic school encomp published in the assign grades K-10. It utilized a crossover design encompassing 14 weeks, in which 103 subjects randomly assigned underwent a 7-week physical education program involving aerobic cybercycling curriculum, while a control group underwent normal PE without this element.
The results were very significant—the students with cybercycling exercise experienced between 32 and 51 percent lower incidents of behavioral, learning and self-regulation problems than those without. This means that phys. Ed. with aerobic cycling is very promising for the purposes of improving functioning and self-regulation in the classroom as well as improving behavioral health among children.
Behavioral Health Disorders by the Numbers
According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), anywhere from 13 to 20 percent of children in the United States experience some sort of behavioral health disorder in any given year. Not only are these disorders frighteningly common, they are expensive to treat, and are 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 in turn 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 health issues can gain marked benefits from PE curriculum which incorporates aerobic cycling exercises. The odds of displaying disruptive behaviors ranging from radical mood swings to impulsive behaviors are between 32% and 51% lower in these students than among students who do not have this form of exercise in their curriculum.
Even more telling is that on the actual days when a intervention-based cybercycling class was used, the odds of disruptive behaviors declined by anywhere from 71% to 76% as compared to the control group. These are highly significant results and they show that parents and educational institutions looking to better aid students with BHD issues would do well to incorporate cycling aerobic exercise into their students’ daily routines.
Helping Students Cope
Unfortunately, we live in a world where STEM education is de-valuing the arts, humanities and physical education. Schools across the nation are seeing cuts to physical ed. classroom time 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 be time to re-evaluate the importance of phys. Ed. in the classroom as a result.
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