Cycling to help manage ADHD

Specialized is using Riding for Focus as a way to Manage ADHD In Schools.

Mike Sinyard founder and chairman of Specialized used to have trouble focusing and found that regular cycling helped to calm his mind. So he thought why not use cycling as a way to help kids who are suffering from ADHD.

In 2015, Specialized launched the Specialized Foundation, a nonprofit that donates bikes, helmets, and service gear to middle schools for use in P.E. classes through a program called Riding For Focus. Currently the program serves 36 schools in more than a dozen states, including California, Texas, Louisiana, and New York.


Cycling has improved the intellectual performance of all students in the program, not just those with ADHD. At current Riding For Focus schools, students who rode three days a week for 20 minutes in a targeted heart-rate zone for six weeks straight are seeing improvement on standardized math and English tests taken after that exercise period, compared to others doing traditional P.E. activities like running, or calisthenics.

Specialized wants to reach 200 schools by 2020. Specialized generally gives about 30 bikes per school, but when one school in Virginia recently needed 50 for kids, the foundation enlisted competitor Giant bicycles to cover the difference.



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