Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Education (MSEd)


Education and Human Development


From the “daydreamer” to the most severe forms it is estimated that three to five percent of children in a given classroom will be diagnosed with some type of attention deficit disorder. Developing effective interventions for children with potential disruptive behaviors is an important goal for educators. This research project explored what impact a daily exercise program would have on students with behavioral issues, due to an attention deficit disorder, with regard to improved academic performance. In researching this ever growing issue in education and society, the literature examined the effect of ADHD on brain function, characteristics prevalent in these children, as well as common treatment plans. Additionally, exercise and its effect on the body and brain were studied.

The research sample group of three students was in the 3-5 grade level of a suburban school district. As part of the research, a fitness plan was developed that incorporated both the use of Sony Playstation exercise bikes and a Dance Dance Revolution Pad. The fitness program was designed and administered over a six week period. There were 30 minutes of exercise, 5 days per week. A pre-determined optimum heart rate was calculated for each participant. Pre and post testing as well as academic analysis for participants to gauge changes in both behaviors and academic success allowed benchmarks and observable variables in the data. The researcher utilized field notes from personal observation and additional staff input. Conclusions from this research support other findings in the field. Exercise has the potential to improve attitudes for learning, classroom behavior, and academic success in children who have been diagnosed with ADD/ADHD.


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