Meta-Analysis on Intervention Effects of Physical Activities on Children and Adolescents with Autism

Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2020 Mar 17;17(6):1950. doi: 10.3390/ijerph17061950.


This paper aimed to discuss the intervention effects of physical activities on children and adolescents with autism with a meta-analysis so as to serve as a reference to further relevant research on the same topic. As for research methods, by searching in CNKI (China National Knowledge Infrastructure), WanFang data, VIP Database for Chinese Technical Periodicals, PubMed, Scopus, Web of Science, and other databases, this study collected randomized controlled trials (RCTs) on the intervention of physical activities on children and adolescents with autism and used Review Manager 5.3 software to process and analyze the outcome indicators of the literature. As for the result, a total of 12 papers and 492 research targets were selected. The results of the meta-analysis show that physical activity had a significant positive impact on social interaction ability, communication ability, motor skills, and autism degree of autistic children as well as the social skills and communication skills of autistic adolescents. On the other hand, physical activity had no significant effect on the stereotyped behavior of autistic children and adolescents. In conclusion, physical activity intervention is beneficial to children and adolescents with autism, and continuous physical activity intervention can produce greater intervention effect.

Keywords: adolescents; autism; children; meta-analysis; physical activities.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Autistic Disorder* / therapy
  • Child
  • Exercise
  • Exercise Therapy*
  • Humans
  • Interpersonal Relations
  • Social Skills