The effects of physical activity on attention deficit hyperactivity disorder symptoms: The evidence

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Jennifer L. Etnier, Professor (Creator)
Jeffrey Labban (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
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Abstract: Evidence supports the beneficial effects of physical activity (PA) on cognitive performance and suggests that effects might be particularly large for children. However, limited research has explored PA as a means of managing behavioral symptoms and improving cognitive performance of children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). The etiology of ADHD and the putative mechanisms for the effects of PA on cognitive performance suggest that PA might be especially important for this population.ObjectiveThe purpose of this paper is to review the literature regarding the potential of PA for ADHD symptom management, particularly in regard to behavioral and cognitive symptoms.MethodsLiterature was reviewed for published and unpublished research specifically examining the effects of PA on cognitive and/or behavioral symptoms of ADHD. Additionally, potential mechanisms were addressed.ResultsAlbeit limited, current research generally supports the potential for acute and chronic PA to mitigate ADHD symptoms.ConclusionGiven the generally supportive extant literature and the challenges that face children with ADHD, future research exploring the potential of PA with this population is advocated.

Additional Information

Preventive Medicine
Language: English
Date: 2011
Exercise, ADHD, Children, Cognition

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