“Acute Effects of Exercise in College Students With ADHD”
The overall objective of this study is to examine physical exercise as an intervention for ADHD. The rationale for the proposed study is that physical exercise could serve as an effective treatment for college students with ADHD that has low costs, low risks, and ancillary health benefits and may address the limitations of existing treatments. The central hypothesis is that college students with ADHD will exhibit greater degrees of improvement in executive functioning (i.e., sustained attention, working memory) immediately following sprint interval training (SIT), relative to non-ADHD peers. This hypothesis was formulated based on preliminary studies demonstrating reduced ADHD symptoms and improved executive functioning following physical exercise. Multiple 2 (ADHD vs. control) x 2 (male vs. female) x 2 (exercise vs. none) repeated measures ANOVAs will be conducted to compare students with ADHD (n = 24) to controls (n = 24). The expected outcomes are to confirm this hypothesis and demonstrate the need for further study of physical exercise. If confirmed, the results will provide pilot data for a larger NIH grant proposal aimed at further examining the acute effects of physical exercise (i.e., improved cognitive functioning immediately following exercise) and also the chronic effects of physical exercise (i.e., improved functioning after engaging in regular exercise for an extended period). This outcome is expected to have an important positive impact because physical exercise may serve as an effective treatment for college students with ADHD that is less risky than stimulants, less time-consuming than therapy, and provides ancillary health benefits (i.e., increasing physical fitness, decreasing obesity).
Behavioral - Sprint Interval Training
Participants will attend two experimental appointments, during which they will complete two identical executive functioning tasks (i.e., sustained attention, working memory). During one appointment, participants will receive the sprint interval training manipulation prior to completing the tasks.
Acute Effects of Exercise in College Students With ADHD