April 17, 2013
The Great Bike Giveaway
There has been a burst of stories over the past couple of years addressing the trends in obesity, physical activity and academic performance in children. Less press has been devoted to the subject of physical fitness in children with disabilities. But it has been a topic of conversation among pediatric physical therapists since I began in practice more than a few years ago (we’re not discussing the number of years here, draw your own conclusions…..). There have been a couple of studies that have examined various aspects of the issue. Using specific population survey information, Arim et al found children with neurodevelopmental disorders participated significantly less than typical children in sports or physical activity (1). And Bedell et al discussed where more support was needed in order to facilitate community participation of school-aged children with disabilities (2).
One of the most popular ways for kids to get physically active is bike riding. This activity is great on so many levels – vestibular input, balance, spatial awareness, strength, cardiovascular endurance, independence, the list goes on. Not to mention that feeling of perfect happiness when you are coasting down a hill, breeze on your face on a beautiful summer day – nothing beats that. Sadly, some kids with disabilities don’t have those experiences because adapted bikes are enormously expensive and out of reach for many families. That’s where the people at Friendship Circle come in. For the second year, they are running The Great Bike Giveaway contest. This is a national contest in partnership with companies across the US. So if you know of a child in the US who would like a bike, let their family know about The Great Bike Giveaway at www.friendshipcircle.org/bikes. And let the bike riding begin!
1. Arim RG, Findlay LC, Kohen DE. Participation in physical activity for children with neurodevelopmental disorders. Int J Pediatr. 2012; 2012:460384. doi: 10.1155/2012/460384. Epub 2012 Apr 30.
2. Bedell G, Coster W, Law M, Liljenquist K, Kao YC, Teplicky R et al. Community participation, supports and barriers of school-age children with and without disabilities. Arch Phys Med Rehab. 2013; 94: 315-23.