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Benefits of Aerobic and Neurocognitive Exercises in ADHD Children


Clinical trial finds aerobic and neurocognitive exercises beneficial for ADHD children

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a neurodevelopmental disorder affecting children and adults. Individuals with ADHD may exhibit inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity, which can significantly impact their daily lives. People with ADHD struggle with organization, time management, and task focus.

The disorder can affect academic performance, relationships, and overall well-being. However, with proper diagnosis and treatment, individuals with ADHD can learn effective coping strategies and utilize support systems to manage their symptoms. Treatment approaches may include medication, therapy, and lifestyle adjustments. Increased awareness and understanding of ADHD are essential for fostering empathy and providing appropriate support to those affected.

Clinical Trial

clinical trial investigated how aerobic and neurocognitive exercises at moderate-to-vigorous physical activity levels affect executive functions (EFs) and sleep quality in children diagnosed with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

Eighty children with ADHD, aged between 6 and 12 years, were randomly assigned to either the experimental or control groups. The experimental group participated in a 12-week program of combined aerobic and neurocognitive exercises, with three sessions per week, each lasting 60 minutes. The control group did not undergo any specific intervention.

In addition, 40 typically developing children of the same age range were recruited as a healthy control group. The exercise intensity was monitored throughout the intervention using a Polar heart rate (HR) monitor, aiming for 60%-80% of the predicted maximum HR. Using computer-based neurocognitive tasks, the study measured three core EFs (inhibitory control, working memory, and cognitive flexibility). Sleep quality and physical activity levels were assessed through self-report questionnaires.


Exercise intervention positively affected all three core EFs, improving inhibitory control, working memory, and cognitive flexibility. Exercise intervention reduced sleep latency (the time to fall asleep) and decreased sleep disturbances. These beneficial effects on EFs and sleep quality persisted for at least 12 weeks after the intervention.

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Additionally, the children with ADHD who underwent the exercise program did not show significant differences in inhibitory control, cognitive flexibility, and various sleep quality measures compared to the typically developing children. Moreover, a significant correlation between physical activity levels, executive functions, and sleep quality was observed among children with ADHD after the intervention. This finding suggests that regular physical activity can positively impact EFs and sleep quality in children with ADHD.


A 12-week program combining aerobic and neurocognitive exercises enhanced executive functions and improved sleep quality in children diagnosed with ADHD. These findings highlight the potential benefits of exercise interventions in managing the symptoms associated with ADHD and promoting overall well-being in affected children.

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This content is for informational and educational purposes only. It is not intended to provide medical advice or to take the place of such advice or treatment from a personal physician. All readers/viewers of this content are advised to consult their doctors or qualified health professionals regarding specific health questions. CenTrial Data Ltd. does not take responsibility for possible health consequences of any person or persons reading or following the information in this educational content. Treatments and clinical trials mentioned may not be appropriate or available for all trial participants. Outcomes from treatments and clinical trials may vary from person to person. Consult with your doctor as to whether a clinical trial is a suitable option for your condition. Assistance from generative AI tools may have been used in writing this article.