First graders in Paramus are fidgeting less thanks to pedaling desk cycles

PARAMUS, New Jersey (WABC) -- A new tool in a Paramus Elementary school is promoting physical activity while learning.

It's helping to keep the fidgeting down and the creativity up for first graders.

Sit still and stay calm never really works for 7 year olds, but read at your desk and pedal looks promising!

"It gets me relaxed," a student said, "Exercise is good for your body!"

The first graders described it as soothing.

"I'm writing while riding a bike," said Ashley. "When I'm with the bike relaxed, but without the bike I feel a little crazy."

Pedaling desk cycles in school is called kinesthetic learning and studies show it enhances the ability to solve problems with physical solutions.

"People are fighting over desk cycles because we all like it," Jordan said.

That conflict was solved by the kids making a list for taking turns.

There are only 10 desk cycles in the classroom since the start of the year, but already there are results. Excuses to be out of chairs and distractions caused by wiggling are down.

"We want to build thinkers, great minds, but their little bodies are telling us they want to move," said Chris Hodson, the teacher. "Children love the cycles, genuinely reading better, and not as fidgety."

Valley Hospital's Community Health Initiative donated the under the desk pedals which measure speed distance and calories burned.

"I read an article that students have a hard time focusing and if they are moving it's easier for them to focus," said Danielle Cinnante, of Valley Hospital in Ridgewood, New Jersey.

"Kids would use it every day all day if they had it!" said Susanne Barbie, a teacher.

"I want one for every desk so we don't have to wait," a student said.

"Elementary school, but definitely for middle and high school, they need it for activity too," Hudson said.

Even adult learners find them effective. Each cycle costs about $150 and they are even sold on Amazon.
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