Effects of a single bout of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity on executive functions in children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder: A systematic review and meta-analysis

Ting Yu Chueh, Shu Shih Hsieh, Yu Jung Tsai, Chien Lin Yu, Chiao Ling Hung, Valentin Benzing, Mirko Schmidt, Yu Kai Chang, Charles H. Hillman, Tsung Min Hung*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Objectives: The aim of this study was to systematically review the literature investigating the acute effects of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) on executive functions (EFs) in children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and perform a meta-analysis of the effects of MVPA on task components that require lower and higher EF demand in this population. Methods: The systematic review and meta-analysis followed the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analysis (PRISMA) guidelines. Six electronic databases, i.e., PubMed, Scopus, Web of Science, Embase, SPORTDiscus, and Education Resources Information Center (ERIC), were searched for eligible studies. Random-effects weights were used to pool the effect sizes. Publication bias was assessed by Egger's regression test and Rosenthal's fail-safe N. This study is registered on PROSPERO, number CRD42020184082. Results: The electronic database search yielded 12 studies, which met the inclusion criteria, comprising a total of 375 participants. Eleven studies with data from 275 participants were included in the meta-analysis to examine the acute effects of MVPA on tasks with lower and higher EF demand. A single bout of MVPA had a small positive effect on tasks with lower (n = 10, g = 0.32, 95% CI = 0.123–0.517) and higher (n = 10, g = 0.25, 95% CI = 0.13–0.371) EF demand. No publication bias was found. Conclusions: A single bout of MVPA may have a general facilitative effect on cognition, indicating that acute MVPA may be a transient nonpharmacological adjunctive treatment for childhood ADHD.

Original languageEnglish
Article number102097
JournalPsychology of Sport and Exercise
Volume58
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2022 Jan

Keywords

  • ADHD
  • Acute exercise
  • Cognition
  • Physical activity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Psychology

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