As a lifelong cyclist with Attention Deficient Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), I was very excited to see some preliminary and promising research examining the effects of cycling on ADHD symptoms.
Specialized Bicycle Company sponsored this research, which had 47 middle school students, age 11-14 with ADHD, ride their bicycles outside for 30 minutes, 5 days per week, before going to school for one month. These students were then assessed using a number of different measures, including brain imaging, observation by teachers, and self-report from the students themselves to see if there were notable changes.
The research found improvements in mood, attention/impulsivity, and via brain scans- a positive alteration in brain activity towards a more ‘normal’ pattern of functioning. This all sounds like a win, win, win, and I suspect that if measured, sleep and other measures of nervous system functioning would show positive effects also.
This research is validating on a personal level because cycling has always been an integral part of my life. I have come to recognize it as a powerful nervous system regulator that I utilize almost daily, as anyone who comes to my office knows- one of my bicycles is generally sitting in the corner.
If you want to find out more go to www.specilized.com and look up their foundation.