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By Rae Jacobson
The notion that physical activity has a positive impact on ADHD isn't new, but
a recent study showing regular physical activity decreased the severity of ADHD symptoms and improved cognitive functioning in children
has a lot of people talking about the future of exercise as a treatment for ADHD.
Dr. Betsy Hoza, professor of psychology at the University of
Vermont and lead author on the study, says that the idea for the study came from a friend of hers who teaches elementary
school and mentioned how much periods of in-school exercise seemed to help her ADHD students. She suggested Dr. Hoza and
her colleagues investigate. "That made such intuitive sense," says Dr. Hoza, "I was honestly a little surprised
no one had documented it previously."
The results were promising. Dr. Hoza and her colleagues found that for
kids between kindergarten and second grade, as little as a half hour a day of moderate to vigorous exercise had a positive,
measurable impact on their focus and mood. The results were similar for kids with the impulsive-hyperactive type of ADHD
and those with the more inattentive type.
So what does this mean for parents and kids with ADHD?
importance of evidence
For many parents looking for alternatives to ADHD medication, studies like this can be
a beacon of hope. When non-pharmacological
treatments for ADHD...read more