For kids suffering from attention deficit hyper-activity disorder (ADHD), daily aerobic exercises before school can help reduce symptoms of inattentiveness, moodiness and difficulty in getting along with others in the classroom as well as at home.
"Early studies suggest that physical activity can have a positive effect on children who suffer from ADHD," said Alan Smith, chairperson of the department of kinesiology at Michigan State University.
Over a 12-week period, Smith and Betsy Hoza, a psychologist from the University of Vermont, studied about 200 early elementary school students ranging from kindergarten to second grade that either exhibited signs of ADHD or did not.
During the trial, students were randomly selected to participate in a group that completed moderate to vigorous physical activity each day before school, or a group that completed more sedentary classroom-type activities.
"Results indicated that all participants showed improvements. Children with ADHD risk receiving exercise benefited across a broader range of outcomes than those receiving sedentary activities," Smith noted.
The study appeared in the Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology.