Researchers to Study the Benefits of RaceRunning for Kids with CP

A study by the University of South Australia (UniSA) will examine whether RaceRunning can help children with cerebral palsy (CP).

RaceRunning — also known as Frame Running — uses three-wheeled frames that look like a cross between a bicycle and a gait trainer. The Frame Running USA Web site says about a typical Running Frame, “The low center of gravity and frame design offers good stability and poise while running or walking. The saddle unit counteracts lateral sway and also can be used as a seat when resting.”

Frames can be customized with different seating and support components to optimize their users’ mobility.

Now UniSA researchers Kade Davison and Lauren McDougall are conducting a study to see if RaceRunning can help children with CP with their movement, social connections and mental health. The Women’s and Children’s Health Network is collaborating on the study, which is being funded by Channel 7 Children’s Research Foundation.

Children in the study have CP, range from 10 to 17 years old, and will participate in a 12-week RaceRunning program. All of the children have a Gross Motor Function Classification Score of III, IV, or V.

“Children with cerebral palsy can have difficulty walking and running, which leaves them often unable to participate in the same sports or activities as many of their typically developing peers, including school PE [physical education] and general play,” McDougall said in a news announcement. “This not only affects their ability to get enough physical exercise, but also their ability to form solid friendships. As a result, children with cerebral palsy can suffer increased anxiety and depression.

“RaceRunning gives kids an opportunity to participate in an activity that allows them to experience the rush of being able to run – something that many kids with cerebral palsy have never experienced – while also letting them play and socialize with others in the same situation.”

Frame Running USA says a Running Frame can be used outdoors on stable surfaces, such as running tracks, streets, or other stable paths. The organization recommends that Running Frames be customized to each user.

 

About the Author

Laurie Watanabe is the editor of Mobility Management. She can be reached at lwatanabe@1105media.com.

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