ActivEd Blog

How Can Movement Help Children with ADD and ADHD?

Posted by Jennifer Weaver-Spencer on Apr 20, 2016 10:25:00 AM
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The National Institute of Mental Health lists symptoms of ADHD as difficulty staying focused and paying attention, difficulty controlling behavior, and hyperactivity or over-activity. Using movement as a tool to enhance learning has been found to decrease behavioral episodes of children with ADD and ADHD. Some ADD and ADHD can be treated with non-pharmacologic agents such as physical activity. Perhaps teaching the elementary curriculum with specific emphasis on fundamental movements could decrease the symptoms associated with ADD and ADHD.

What Does a 2015 Study Show About the Link Between Attention Disorders (ADD and ADHD) and Movement?

  • According to a 2015 study by the MIND Institute at the University of California-Davis, physical activity seems to allow children with ADHD to focus on what they are doing.
  • In children with a diagnosis of ADHD, the 2015 study found:
    • Children who moved more intensely showed better cognitive performance.
    • The accuracy of children's performance on tests significantly improved when they were moving.
    • Hyperactivity in children with ADHD may help them think.


Want to learn more about the benefits of movement in the classroom to students with ADHD? Download our e-book, Move to Learn: Exploring the Benefits of Movement in the Classroom.

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Topics: move to learn