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Latest Fund for Excellence: Research on Impact of Physical Activity on ADHD Symptoms

Published: July 12, 2018

We’re excited to share that HDI will be devoting a Fund for Excellence grant this spring to research focused on “A School-Based Physical Activity Intervention for Children with and without ADHD Symptomology” led by Megan Jaspersen, Dr. Alicia Fedewa, Dr. Heather Erwin, and Morgan Turner.

This grant will include approximately 100 children (5-7 years) across two elementary schools in Lexington, Kentucky (K-1st grade) to investigate the effects of a 16-week physical activity intervention in an elementary sample of typical-developing children as well as those at-risk for Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). The purpose of this study is to gather a relatively large number of young children to test whether a physical activity intervention improves children’s attention, executive functioning and behavior compared to a sedentary intervention, like board games.

Parents and teachers will be asked to rate the behavior of the elementary students before and after intervention to find out if students who are physically active end up displaying fewer signs of ADHD.

“Increasing physical activity in youth with ADHD symptoms could improve the educational experience for these students at an important time when the building blocks for learning are being laid. Grades and behavior may improve if activity can be shown to increase concentration and focus in the classroom. It could mean the difference between success and frustration or failure.”  Megan Jaspersen, Health & Wellness Program Facilitator

Photo by Myles Tan on Unsplash.