A Preliminary Examination of Aerobic Exercise Effects on Resting EEG in Children With ADHD

Chung Ju Huang, Chin Wen Huang, Yu Jung Tsai, Chia Liang Tsai, Yu Kai Chang, Tsung Min Hung*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: This study attempted to determine whether the effects of physical exercise were reflected in the resting electroencephalographic (EEG) pattern of ADHD children. Method: Thirty-two ADHD children were assigned to either an exercise group or a control group. The exercise group participated in a water aerobics program for 8 weeks, whereas no intervention was administered to the control group. Resting EEGs were recorded under open-eyes condition before and after the intervention. Data from eligible participants, 15 from the exercise group (11 boys and 4 girls, 7.93 ± 1.02 years) and 14 from the control group (14 boys, 8.27 ± 1.04 years), were further analyzed. Results: While controlling for the baseline resting EEG, separate ANCOVAs indicated that the exercise group showed smaller theta/alpha ratios over the frontal and central brain sites after the intervention compared with the control group. Conclusion: This finding suggests that aerobic exercise may enhance the cognitive functions of children with ADHD, as reflected in resting EEG.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)898-903
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Attention Disorders
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Sept 1


  • EEG ratios
  • cognitive benefits
  • fitness
  • inhibition
  • physical exercise

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology


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