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Moving About Good for Children

June 25, 2015
Plain English Version

Ask almost any child. Staying seated for a full day in school can be, well, distracting.

Children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) have trouble sitting still. They also find it difficult to concentrate.

Does it make sense to let them get up and move around the classroom? A new study says YES. Why? The study says moving increases their alertness. An expert says that activity may bother some other students who do not have ADHD. The job is to find a way for ADHD students to move about without interfering with other students.

The jury is still out on whether moving about can reduce the use of medications. Parents who choose not to medicate their children may find movement helps when used with other kinds of therapy.

It is no surprise that physical exercise is good for children. Schools are trying to find ways that more exercise can be done in the classroom. Even so, experts say that ADHD kids should be given special treatment.


Children in Howda chairs.


Child in a Bouncy Band chair.

About 11 percent of children in the U.S. have been diagnosed with ADHD. One school that has many ADHD students uses a number of approaches. Methods include being allowed to stand while others are seated, sitting in seats that allow for motion and playing with fidget tools. Some students use seat shaped like balls. Others use Howda chairs whose seats rest on the floor and allow children to rock. In another approach, rubber bands are strung between the front legs of chairs to allow children to rock their feet without making noise. Other types of chairs are coming on the market.

Moving may not replace meds, but it can be a big help.

Source: The Wall Street Journal June 22, 2015


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