Assisted cycling exercise improves fine manual dexterity in persons with down's syndrome

C. C. Chen, Shannon Ringenbach, A. R. Albert

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


Background: This study was aimed at investigating the impact of assisted cycling therapy (ACT) on fine manual dexterity in adults with Down's syndrome (DS). Methods: Nine persons with DS completed four different interventions: voluntary exercise (VE), voluntary with music (VEM), assisted exercise (AE) and no exercise (NE). Fine manual dexterity (e.g., Purdue Pegboard) was tested pre and post interventions. Results: The results showed dominant and bimanual hands were improved after AE but no evident in either subtest after VE. The assembly subtest, processed by spatial-temporal ability, was only improved after VEM and NE. Conclusions: It is speculated that AE stimulated more peripheral sensory input to the motor cortex and neurotransmitters than the other interventions. In addition, the involvement of music may enhance spatial intelligence during VEM. Even though the exact mechanisms are still unknown, the implication of our results showed that AE and VEM can improve fine manual dexterity in persons with DS.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)264-272
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Applied Research in Intellectual Disabilities
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 2014


  • Assisted cycling therapy
  • Down syndrome
  • Manual dexterity
  • Music

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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