Stationary Bike Workout Effects on Postural and Locomotor Skills
First published in 2003 - Last edited in May 2022 by Luka Tunjic. © All rights reserved.
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Exercises on a stationary bike (also known as an exercise bicycle, exercise bike, or exercycle) consist of continuous repeated rhythmic and patterned movement.
There are significant differences between driving a stationary bike and driving a road bike from a psychological perspective.
1) By driving road bicycles, we travel from one place to another.
2) Doing exercises on a stationary bike (moving the pedals of a stationary bike but not moving own body) is a physical activity that has no purpose from a psychological point of view.
Involuntary or voluntary movement of the whole body, or just one part of the body without purpose, is a movement disorder.
Purposeless physical activity is at the same time a voluntary movement disorder, and it harms the central and peripheral nervous system.
a) While driving road bicycles, the sense of balance is involved to a full extent because we must maintain our body and the bike in a balanced upright position.
b) While driving a stationary bicycle (driving pedals), the involvement of the sense of balance is almost non-existent. Exercises on stationary bikes lead to improved muscular strength and endurance. Still, it doesn’t lead to improving the balance. By prolonged exercising on stationary bicycles, the sense of balance deteriorates.
Exercises on a stationary bicycle involve activity of the musculoskeletal system, the increased activity of the peripheral nervous system, and the insufficient involvement of the central nervous system, and without optimal participation of the sense of balance.
The physical activity of riding a road bicycle involves the action of the musculoskeletal system, the peripheral nervous system, the central nervous system, and the involvement of the sense of balance to an optimal extent.
By mastering the ability to move the pedals on a stationary bike, the musculoskeletal system is active, but the central nervous system is under-active. For example, by driving the pedals on a stationary bike, the central nervous system is under-active because the sense of balance is under-active. (The essential component of the neuromuscular control centre is the sense of balance.)
Doing exercises on a stationary bike, the musculoskeletal system, the peripheral nervous system, the cardiovascular system, and the respiratory system are increasingly active, but the central nervous system isn’t. An increase in activity of the musculoskeletal system always causes an increase in the cardiovascular system and the respiratory system activity.
Doing exercises on a stationary bike causes increased musculoskeletal, respiratory, and cardiovascular systems activity, but the central nervous system is under-active.
Mastering the ability to drive pedals on a stationary bike will improve physical endurance. Still, it will negatively affect walking and running efficiency. At the same time, it will negatively affect motor skills.
In reality, exercising on a stationary bike is a voluntary movement disorder. Prolonged time of voluntary movement disorder will sooner or later result in neurological damage. This type of voluntary movement disorder negatively affects the already developed motor skill, leading to inappropriate-weird motor skills.
Instead of driving the pedal on a stationary bike, involvement in meaningful physical activities like riding a bicycle, playing an individual and collective sport, walking, playing traditional children’s games, etc., will positively affect the children’s mental and physical development.
Any physical activity that isn’t appropriate for typical children isn’t suitable for children affected with autism.
In my opinion, strenuous exercises on stationary bikes for a prolonged time during pregnancy may negatively affect the baby’s prenatal brain development.
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