Imprimir Republish

deficit hyperactivity disorder

Exercise and concentration

A few minutes of intense physical exercise is all it takes to noticeably improve the concentration of children and adolescents diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), a neuropsychiatric condition that afflicts up to 9% of all people under 18 and 4% of adults. Running for five minutes was enough to enhance the attention levels of a group of children and teens with ADHD, bringing them close to the levels of people who don’t have the condition. Researchers at Mogi das Cruzes University and the Pontifical Catholic University of São Paulo (PUC-SP) quantified the impact of physical activity during a test performed on 56 boys and girls ages 10 to 16. Fourteen kids with ADHD and 14 without the condition performed a test in which they had to run for five minutes, while the other participants watched. Afterward, everyone was given a five-minute rest before embarking on the next challenge: a computer game. The participants with ADHD who had exercised completed the second task 30% faster than kids with ADHD who had only rested – i.e., taking approximately the same amount of time as participants who did not have the condition (PLOS One, March 24, 2015).