Although the literature has predominantly focused on elementary youth, preliminary findings indicate that attentional benefits may arise from adolescent physical activity as well. Limited research has examined the impact of classroom-based physical activity for secondary students, and no research to date has explored bicycle workstations as a means to improve physical activity within the special education classroom.


Two special education resource classrooms within a high school took part in the research study. Students were given the option of riding on the bike or sitting on chairs in each classroom. Heart rate, calories, miles, time, and on-task behavior data were collected. In addition, student acceptability of bikes was explored.


The results indicated that the overall mean heart rate during bike riding was significantly higher than the overall mean heart rate when seated on a traditional chair. Also a significant main effect was found for time on calories expended while riding. No significant results were found for miles or on-task behavior.


Overall, students enjoyed the use of bicycles during class, found the bicycle workstations to be beneficial to their learning, and appeared to note as many benefits as limitations with the bicycle workstations. Limitations and future directions are discussed.

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Published in Health Psychology Report, v. 6, 4, p. 339-350.

© 2018 Institute of Psychology, University of Gdansk

This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-SA 4.0) License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/4.0/), allowing third parties to copy and redistribute the material in any medium or format and to remix, transform, and build upon the material, provided the original work is properly cited and states its license.

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