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Study finds fidgeting helps ADHD students learn

By Marilyn Malara   |   April 18, 2015 at 4:58 PM
ORLANDO, Fla., April 18 (UPI) -- Against popular belief, new research by the University of Central Florida shows that children with ADHD learn better when left to wiggle and tap.

Traditional approaches aim to subdue ADHD children. "It's exactly the opposite of what we should be doing for a majority of children with ADHD," study author and head of UCF Psychology's Children's Learning Clinic Mark Rapport said in a press release.

"The message isn't 'Let them run around the room,' but you need to be able to facilitate their movement so they can maintain the level of alertness necessary for cognitive activities." The study, published in the Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology further confirms the assertion that hyperactive movement in ADHD children serves a constructive purpose.

In other words, the hyperactivity traditionally frowned upon in students helps them maintain alertness in class -- it only needs to be directed.

The study suggests students diagnosed with the disorder may perform better in the classroom, with homework and on testing days when physically engaged by sitting on an activity ball or exercise bike.

Previous research by Rapport has already shown that hyper behavior in children is actually evident "only when they need to use the brain's executive brain functions, especially their working memory."

"What we've found is that when they're moving the most, the majority of them perform better," said Rapport.

The opposite goes for children without ADHD, however. They also moved more during tests, though they performed worse.

© 2015 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.

Last month hottest March in modern history

By Marilyn Malara   |   April 18, 2015 at 1:00 PM
| License Photo
WASHINGTON, April 18 (UPI) -- The U.S. government reports that last month's global climate made it the hottest March in modern history.

Average temperatures across the world's surface (land and sea) were 1.53 degrees Fahrenheit higher than the 20th century average of 54.9 F, according to a report, released by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

In 136 years of active record keeping, no March has been warmer. Its temperatures surpassed the previous record set in 2010.

March 2015 temperatures on land alone made it the second warmest month on record; on the ocean, the third.

Arctic sea ice was also the lowest on record for last month at 430,000 square miles (7.2 percent) below the 1981-2010 average.

If conditions persist, 2015 may beat 2014 as the hottest year since 1880. Gavin Schmidt, leader of NASA's Goddard Institute of Space Studies, told Climate Central, "We expect that we are going to get more warm years, and just as with 2014 [the hottest year on record], records will be broken increasingly in the future. But perhaps not every year."

© 2015 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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