Physical and psychological effects of aerobic exercise in boys with learning disabilities

J Dev Behav Pediatr. 1987 Oct;8(5):274-7.


Aerobic exercise has been associated with improvements in psychological status and physical fitness in adults, but its effects on children are less clear. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effects of an aerobic exercise program on the self-concept, academic achievement, motor proficiency, and cardiovascular fitness of boys with learning disabilities. Fifty-four boys were randomly assigned to one of two exercise programs lasting 20 weeks. One program emphasized aerobic exercise and the other consisted of similar but less vigorous activities. The self-concept, academic achievement, motor proficiency, and physical fitness of each subject was assessed before and after the exercise programs. The results from group comparisons demonstrated an association between the aerobic exercise program and improvement of self-concept and physical fitness. No effect on academic achievement or motor proficiency could be attributed to the aerobic exercise program.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • Evaluation Studies as Topic
  • Exercise Therapy*
  • Humans
  • Learning Disabilities / psychology
  • Learning Disabilities / therapy*
  • Male
  • Physical Fitness
  • Prospective Studies
  • Random Allocation
  • Self Concept