The Effects of Different Exercise Approaches on Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder in Adults: A Randomised Controlled Trial

Larisa Dinu, Samriddhi Singh, Neo Baker, Alexandra Georgescu, Bryan Singer, Paul G Overton, Eleanor Dommett

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) results in significant functional impairment. Current treatments, particularly for adults, are limited. Previous research indicates that exercise may offer an alternative approach to managing ADHD, but research into different types of exercise and adult populations is limited. The aim of this study was to examine the effects of acute exercise (aerobic cycling vs mind-body yoga exercises) on symptoms of ADHD in adults. Adults with ADHD (N = 82) and controls (N = 77) were randomly allocated to 10 min of aerobic (cycling) or mind-body (Hatha yoga) exercise. Immediately before and after exercise, participants completed the Test of Variables of Attention task, Delay Discounting Task, and Iowa Gambling Task to measure attention and impulsivity. Actigraphy measured movement frequency and intensity. Both groups showed improved temporal impulsivity post-exercise, with cycling beneficial to all, whilst yoga only benefited those with ADHD. There were no effects of exercise on attention, cognitive or motor impulsivity, or movement in those with ADHD. Exercise reduced attention and increased movement in controls. Exercise can improve temporal impulsivity in adult ADHD but did not improve other symptoms and worsened some aspects of performance in controls. Exercise interventions should be further investigated.

Original languageEnglish
Article number129
JournalBehavioural Sciences
Volume13
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2 Feb 2023

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