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Exergaming–a physical activity intervention to benefit children with ADHD? (PhD Academy Award)
  1. Valentin Benzing
  1. Institute of Sport Science, University of Bern, Bern, Switzerland
  1. Correspondence to Valentin Benzing, Institute of Sport Science, University of Bern, Bern, Switzerland; valentin.benzing{at}

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What did I do?

I investigated whether exergaming benefits executive functions, motor abilities and symptoms in children with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

Why did I do it?

ADHD is one of the most common neurodevelopmental conditions in childhood. Its symptoms include inattention, hyperactivity and impulsivity, all of which are associated with decreased executive function performance. Executive functions are higher order cognitive functions that are one of the most important predictors of academic achievement.

In school children, physical activity can benefit executive functions, and consequently academic achievement. Children with ADHD, however, are less physically active. They spend more time playing sedentary video games, and frequently drop out of traditional sports. This inactivity contributes to the frequently reported deficits in motor abilities.

I contended that innovative physical activity interventions to improve executive functions, motor abilities and symptoms were needed. Exergaming (ie, active video gaming) might serve as a home-based intervention …

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  • Collaborators Prof Dr Mirko Schmidt; Prof Dr Yu-Kai Chang

  • Contributors VB was responsible for the studies, supervised by Professor Dr Mirko Schmidt.

  • Funding This study was funded by Hans & Annelies Swierstras Stiftung and Stiftung Suzanne und Hans Biäsch zur Förderung der Angewandten Psychologie.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent for publication Not required.

  • Ethics approval All empirical studies were granted ethical approval (KEK‐NR 393/15; DRKS00010171).

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; internally peer reviewed.