Getting kids with autism and ADHD to exercise can be a challenge, but a small study has found that the key to getting these children to get more exercise is to make exercise fun.

Getting Kids with Autism and ADHD to ExerciseAn international study of 132 adult caretakers of children with autism, ADHD, and Tourette syndrome showed that in addition to making exercise fun, focusing on activities that come easily to children are also top exercise motivators.  Many children who feel they lack skill do not want to exercise.

“We found that a child having fun was a much greater indicator of how likely he or she was to continue exercising,” said first author Matthew Lustig, senior medical student at the Medical College of Georgia at Augusta University.

“In targeting interventions that increase exercise, creating more cost-effective options may not be as necessary as creating more fun options.”

Participants were recruited by an internet questionnaire distributed on Facebook to groups of individuals who are associated with neurodevelopmental disorders.  The use of social media allowed for widespread international participation from adult caregivers with a broad spectrum of neurodevelopmental disorders.

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