Understanding the development of bicycling skills in children: A systematic review

Learning to ride a bicycle can be considered a keystone in a child’s life, however, bicycle injuries in young bicyclists remain a significant problem. The current systematic review evaluated cross-sectional and intervention studies regarding the development of the intrinsic factors (motor skills, perceptual-motor skills, attitudes and knowledge) in young bicyclists of five to 18 years old.

It was found that bicycling skills develop with both age and experience. Even until the age of twelve, children have not yet automated their bicycling skills and experience difficulties with coordinating more complex motor and perceptual-motor skills such as estimating and anticipating dangerous situations. Given that attitudes such as rule compliance are affected by hormonally induced changes during puberty, more research is needed regarding the development of safe attitudes. Most training programs were effective to improve knowledge, motor skills and perceptual-motor skills in young bicyclists, especially those including an on-road component.

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