Aerobic Exercise Improved Self Regulation and Behavior


Pediatrics published research to determine if structured aerobic exercise during physical education (PE) resulted in improvements in behavioral self-regulation and classroom functioning among 103 children (ages 7-16 years old) with students with autism, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, anxiety and mood disorders.

Over a 14-week crossover design, students were randomly assigned to receive the 7-week aerobic cybercycling PE curriculum or standard nonaerobic PE.  The cybercycling phase had children use the bikes 2 times per week during 30- to 40-minute PE classes.

The results indicated that following the aerobic intervention phase, children experienced 32% to 51% lower odds of poor self-regulation and learning-inhibiting disciplinary time out of class.   The effects were more pronounced on days that children participated in the aerobic exercise where disruptive behaviors dropped over 70 percent, but carryover effects were also observed.


Bowling, A. et al. Cybercycling Effects on Classroom Behavior in Children With Behavioral Health Disorders: An RCT. Pediatrics Jan 2017, e20161985; DOI: 10.1542/peds.2016-1985

Heasley, S. Study: Exercise May Cut Behavior Issues In Half. Retrieved on 1/12/2017 from https://www.disabilityscoop.com/2017/01/10/study-exercise-behavior-half/23166/

Self Regulation Skills Curriculum

Self Regulation Skills Curriculum: Move – Work – Breathe – This curriculum provides an effective, time-efficient structured system to provide classroom breaks, improve self-awareness and self advocacy and teach specific self-regulation skills so that kids have tools to use in their classrooms. This system will get kids moving, give them the benefits of a brain power boost [from getting their heart rate up], give them heavy work and isometrics to help them calm down, and help them learn techniques to quiet and control their bodies in order to return to their academic work. FIND OUT MORE.