Public Release: 

Physical activity program leads to better behavior for children with ADHD


Los Angeles, CA (January 17, 2012) While children who suffer from attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) struggle with hyperactive-impulses and have trouble maintaining attention, a recent study found that a structured physical activity program may help to improve their muscular capacities, motor skills, behavior assessments, and the ability to process information. This new exploratory study was released in the recent issue of the Journal of Attention Disorders (published by SAGE).

Authors Claudia Verret, Marie-Claude Guay, Claude Berthiaume, Phillip Gardiner, and Louise Béliveau enrolled ten children in a physical activity program that included a warm-up, aerobic activity, muscular and motor-skill exercises, and a cool-down. The objective of each session was to maintain moderate to high-intensity activity throughout each session as observed by a heart-rate monitor.

"A main finding of this study is that both parents and teachers observed better behavioral scores in the physical activity group," wrote the authors. "This could mean that positive effects of physical activity may occur in different settings of the children's life."

The authors monitored ten children with ADHD who were participating in the physical activity program three times a week and eleven different children with ADHD as part of a control group.

The authors wrote, "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."


The article entitled "A Physical Activity Program Improves Behavior and Cognitive Functions in Children with ADHD: An Exploratory Study" from the Journal of Attention Disorders is available free for a limited time at:

The Journal of Attention Disorders (JAD) focuses on basic and applied science concerning attention and related functions in children, adolescents, and adults. JAD publishes articles on diagnosis, comorbidity, neuropsychological functioning, psychopharmacology, and psychosocial issues. The journal also addresses practice, policy, and theory, as well as review articles, commentaries, in-depth analyses, empirical research articles, and case presentations or program evaluations.
Impact Factor: 2.955
Ranked: 39 out of 128 in Psychiatry (Science Citation Index), 23 out of 110 in Psychiatry (Social Science Citation Index), 16 out of 66 in Developmental Psychology
Source: 2010 Journal Citation Reports® (Thomson Reuters, 2011)

SAGE is a leading international publisher of journals, books, and electronic media for academic, educational, and professional markets. Since 1965, SAGE has helped inform and educate a global community of scholars, practitioners, researchers, and students spanning a wide range of subject areas including business, humanities, social sciences, and science, technology, and medicine. An independent company, SAGE has principal offices in Los Angeles, London, New Delhi, Singapore and Washington DC.

Disclaimer: AAAS and EurekAlert! are not responsible for the accuracy of news releases posted to EurekAlert! by contributing institutions or for the use of any information through the EurekAlert system.