Kids with ADHD Need to Be On the Move
|A young boy using a walker during a track and field event|
Physical activity specialists have a great opportunity to assist frustrated teachers who have difficulty redirecting their children's behavior. From the perspective of "less is more," a little more physical activity during the school day may result in a little less fidgeting and higher levels of concentration for a period of time after the activity. Physical activity transports greater amounts of blood to the brain and increases core body temperature, both of which may elicit a soothing or relaxing effect on a child with ADHD. In particular, vigorous physical activity (exercise performed at a high heart rate/intensity level) in the right amount and at the right time of day may dissipate some of the excess energy that seems to build up in children with ADHD. While there is still a need for more research on how physical activity affects behavior in children with ADHD, the general consensus is that it seems to work with a certain portion of children with this condition. We need more research to determine the actual "dosing" effect that comes with various amounts, types, and intensities of different physical activities in order to provide more specific recommendations to teachers and parents. Until that time, using physical activity as a remedy for helping children with ADHD manage their behavior better could be a win-win for the child and the teacher or parent.