TAMPA, Fla.—Researchers at the University of South Florida (USF) College of Education and educators at Tampa Day School are collaborating on a research project to determine the impact short bursts of physical activity has on classroom behavior and academic performance for children living with ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder).
Research over the last decade indicates that physical activity positively impacts time on task and academic achievement in the general student population. However, no research has addressed this issue in children with ADHD. Given that, researchers at USF recently contacted Tampa Day School, a K-8th grade private school providing a customized educational experience to students with ADHD, as well as dyslexia, anxiety and other learning differences, to begin a pilot project introducing three 10-minute physical activities into the traditional classroom setting twice a week.
The USF team will observe students during days where physical activity is instituted in the classroom, as well as traditional school days, and record preliminary data in hopes of receiving a federal grant to expand their studies.
“Tampa Day School provides an incredible educational environment for their students and our research team is excited to establish this new partnership,” stated Marcus Kilpatrick, Associate Professor of Exercise Science in the College of Education at USF. “We view this partnership as a great opportunity to conduct research that can positively impact educational practices for children with ADHD.”
It is estimated that 3% to 7% of school-aged children suffer from ADHD, meaning tens of thousands of children in the Tampa region are living with ADHD. A member of American Education Group’s growing network of customized private schools, Tampa Day School was founded more than 40 years ago and in that time the school has developed a national reputation for providing innovative and effective educational services for ADHD children. The school’s success has produced replicate campuses in Las Vegas and Scottsdale.
“We were excited to be approached by the USF Research Team and look forward to the opportunity to work so closely with them on this project at Tampa Day School,” said Lois Delaney, Head of School. “We have always provided our students with the opportunity for physical activity through P.E. classes and daily recess, but this research project has great potential to actually document if increased physical activity can be directly linked to improved student performance, especially for those students with ADHD. Having the ability to work collaboratively with the USF team, putting research into a very practical use in the classrooms, is a unique opportunity for Tampa Day School, and we can’t wait to get started!”