Contributions of physical activity to ADHD care

Researchers at the Universite de Montreal, in Quebec, explored the effects of physical activity programs on fitness, cognitive function, and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)-related behavior in children with ADHD.

First, the details.

  • 21 participants from an ADHD clinic took part were assigned to a treatment group
    • 10-week training program held 3 times a week for 45 minutes at lunchtime
    • Control
  • All sessions were supervised by a physical activity specialist.
  • Sessions included warm-up (progressive aerobic, muscular, and motor skills exercises) and cool down.
  • Fitness level, motor skills, behaviors, and cognitive functions are assessed using standardized tests before and after the training program.

And, the results.

  • Participation in a physical activity program results in improvement in several areas.
    • Muscular capacities
    • Motor skills
    • Behavior reports by parents and teachers
    • Level of information processing

The bottom line?

The authors concluded, “Considering the beneficial effect of physical activity participation on some important ADHD-related variables, schools and parents of children with ADHD should look to maximize opportunities for structured group physical activity in their children’s life.”

It’s a small population of patients. More research is needed. However, these results support an earlier study, here.

1/22/12 20:41 JR

Hi, I’m JR

John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at www.Vicus.com, a complementary and alternative medicine website.