Exercise in Adults with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder: A Systematic Review

Hanbury-Brown, Christopher, Fiatarone Singh, Maria, Inskip, Michael, Ogrodnik, Michelle, Heisz, Jennifer, and Mavros, Yorgi (2024) Exercise in Adults with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder: A Systematic Review. In: Journal of Clinical Exercise Physiology (13) 387. p. 72. From: Research to Practice 2024, 02-04 May 2024, Sydney, QLD, Australia.

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Introduction & aims: Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is one of the most common neurodevelopmental disorders in adults. Stimulant medications are first-line treatments, they have many side effects and do not address common comorbidities such as cardiometabolic disease, depression, and anxiety. Exercise, by contrast, not only improves ADHD symptoms in youth but effectively treats such comorbidities, making it a potentially valuable treatment option. However, exercise efficacy in adults with ADHD has not been systematically reviewed. Therefore, we aimed to summarise the results of acute exercise and training interventions on health-related outcomes for adults with ADHD, including ADHD symptoms, cognitive function, and psychological well-being.

Methods: Using PRISMA guidelines, fifteen databases were searched (including grey literature) on 27/08/2020, yielding 22,088 unique publications. Database alerts were created to capture additional studies (n= 2). Screening, data extraction, Risk of Bias and GRADE assessment was conducted by CEHB.

RESULTS Seven acute (6 cycling, 1 self-selected, 1 yoga) and 6 training studies (Yoga, Pilates, Kickboxing, Tai Chi, General Coordination, Group Circuit Class, Cycling) were included. Among acute studies, those reporting small-to-moderate improvements in cognitive function were characterised by longer duration exercise (>30 minutes), withholding ADHD medication before exercise, and using cohorts with clinician-confirmed ADHD diagnosis. Among the training studies, only one reported an improvement in cognition following Pilates when compared to an inactive control. It was longer (6 months vs. <8 weeks), prescribed progressive intensity and volume, and had high adherence compared to the non-significant trials. The certainty of evidence was low or very low for all outcomes.

Conclusions: Overall, acute exercise may have a small positive effect on cognition in adults with ADHD; however, certainty of the evidence is low. Further research is needed to investigate the impact of different modalities, durations, and intensities of acute exercise and chronic exercise on adult ADHD.

Item ID: 82698
Item Type: Conference Item (Abstract / Summary)
ISSN: 2165-7629
Keywords: ADHD; Exercise; review; Adults
Date Deposited: 22 May 2024 05:52
FoR Codes: 42 HEALTH SCIENCES > 4207 Sports science and exercise > 420702 Exercise physiology @ 100%
SEO Codes: 20 HEALTH > 2001 Clinical health > 200105 Treatment of human diseases and conditions @ 100%
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