Let’s ride a bike

9 Aug 2018
An Activate CP Project Participant
An Activate CP Project Participant enjoying activities on the Functional Electrical Stimulations (FES) powered bike.

This study is investigating the effects of an 8-week training program of functional electrical stimulation (FES) powered cycling, recreational cycling and sit-to-stand transfer training in children with CP who are classified as level II, III or IV on the Gross Motor Function Classification Scale. The study was developed to address the paucity of evidence-based interventions to help children with CP to improve their sit-to-stand transfers and participation in recreational cycling. Functional electrical stimulation powered cycling has been used among people with spinal cord injuries, CP and other neurological conditions to reduce or prevent muscle atrophy, improve circulation and increase joint range of motion. The addition of FES-powered cycling in the training program will assist children in achieving higher intensities of exercise and will supplement a home cycling program using adapted tricycles. Participant’s goals for the project so far have ranged from learning to pedal, to participating in cycling events in the community. Thanks to the support of the Queensland Paediatric Rehabilitation Service, our local bike shops and input from our families, our bike library has expanded to include recumbent-style bikes that are suited to children who have difficulty transferring onto traditional upright trikes. These new additions should help more participants to achieve their cycling goals. Recruitment for this study is still underway and we have updated the eligibility criteria to include children aged 6-18 years old.    

Who can participate?

Potentially eligible participants for this study are children with CP who:

  • are aged 6-18 years old
  • are classified as level II, III or IV on the gross motor functional classification scale
  • have the goal to improve their sit-to-stand transfer ability and/or cycling ability


For more information about the proposed study, please contact Ellen Armstrong (ellen.armstrong@griffithuni.edu.au).

This project is funded by Griffith University Postgraduate Research Scholarship.

Chief Investigators: Ms Ellen Armstrong, Dr Chris Carty, Prof Roslyn Boyd, Dr Sean Horan, and Ms Megan Kentish.