Celebrating World Bicycle Day - 3 June
14-year-old Tenisha was referred to Novita Exercise Physiology in 2021. Tenisha lives with Down Syndrome and our team identified goals for Tenisha in the areas of body strength and endurance. To support Tenisha with these goals, she accessed NovitaTech’s Bike Clinic and was prescribed a new accessible bike.
The Benefits of Bike Riding
Bike riding is a low impact aerobic exercise that has many health benefits. The physical health benefits include supporting cardiovascular fitness, muscle strength and flexibility, joint mobility and coordination. Other benefits include supporting mental health and cognitive functioning.
With these benefits in mind, NovitaTech provides the opportunity for kids and adults living with disability to trial a selection of bikes and trikes of different sizes, shapes and models in bike clinics.
NovitaTech Bike Clinics
NovitaTech bike clinics are led by a Novita physiotherapist with expertise in paediatric disability and knowledge of cycling. Our physiotherapists are supported by volunteer TADSA (Technology for Aging and Disability SA) technicians who have extensive experience in bike modifications to suit our clients’ exact specifications and needs. Adapted or specialised bikes can increase physical stability and confidence in learning to ride a bike.
Novita physiotherapist Jane Schulz explains “We help to determine the most appropriate bike and supports for the client and then organise a trial to ensure it is the best option and the client is happy.”
At a Bike Clinic session, the therapist assesses the client’s capacity to ride a bike, taking into account a variety of factors such as past history of bike use, physical ability, range of movement, motivation and bike skills.
Jane says “Just like we experienced with Tenisha, connecting a client with a bike which has been specially modified to make it just right for them is so rewarding. We know there will be lots of fun and enjoyment coming their way when they get on their bikes, in addition to the health benefits.”
Moare About Bike Clinics
There’s also the option of taking home one of a selection of bikes as a short term loan so the client can try it for longer and establish whether they enjoy riding a bike and it fits with their lifestyle – which means having and riding a bike is more likely to be successful in the long term. During this home testing period, the client may be able to develop their bike riding skills, which means fewer supports might need to be recommended.
To cover all bases, at NovitaTech we have a range of accessories and supports which enable people with limited mobility and balance to successfully ride a bike.