Athletes of all ages are improving balance, coordination and confidence through balance bike training.

In 2018, Special Olympics New Jersey, with support from Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, conducted a research study examining the effects of Balance Bike Training on balance with individuals with intellectual disabilities. 

Participants received an 8-week intervention which included weekly balance bike instruction and at home practice.  The goal of the study was to find out if using the balance bikes improved balance in the participants.  The results showed that the participants improved in their total balance scores, with a significant improvement in dynamic balance (being able to maintain balance while moving or changing positions). In addition, parent surveys indicated that parent perceptions of their child’s ability to ride a bike improved.

Strider bikes can be used with Young Athletes, to help athletes of all ages improve balance and coordination, and transition athletes into Special Olympics Cycling. SONJ has offered exhibition balance bike races as part of SONJ Cycling competition and incorporated Strider bikes into Camp Shriver. In addition, Strider bikes are offered as part of Unified PE in Unified Champion Schools in New Jersey.

If you would further information about the balance bike study, please feel free to contact either Andrea Moore at avm@sonj.org or Greg Schwalje at schwaljegreg@gmail.com  If you would like further information about getting started with Strider Bikes in your program, or are interested in Strider’s All Kids Bike program, contact Jennifer Hansen at jhansen@specialolympics.org or see the Special Olympics Strider resources.

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