Benefits of Learning to Ride a Two-Wheeled Bicycle for Adolescents with Down Syndrome and Autism Spectrum Disorder


  • Janet Hauck
  • Irully Jeong
  • Phil Esposito
  • Megan MacDonald
  • Joseph Hornyak
  • Angela Argento
  • Dale A. Ulrich


developmental disabilities, adapted physical education, physical activity, motor behavior, intervention


Adolescents with Down syndrome (DS) and Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) were provided an opportunity to gain independent bicycle riding skills and physiological outcomes were examined. Twenty-five adolescents with DS and ASD participated. Measures of leg extension/flexion strength, standing balance, and BMI percentile were measured at baseline and one-year later. Following the intervention, 16 participants were classified as riders and 9 as non-riders. Linear mixed-modeling revealed significantly improved leg extension and flexion strength, with meaningful improvements in balance and a decline in BMI percentile among riders. Time and age effects were observed. Bicycle riding is associated with improved physiological outcomes. Implications are discussed.

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