Objective measurement of weekly physical activity and sensory modulation problems in children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder

Chung-Ying Lin, Ai Lun Yang, Chia Ting Su

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

28 Citations (Scopus)


This study aimed to objectively compare the daily physical activity (PA), as indicated by moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) during a week and metabolic equivalents (METs) per minute, between children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and typically developing children. Moreover, sensory modulation problems were examined using behavioral and physiological measures. Twenty boys with ADHD (mean age 8.64. ±. 2.57 years), and 20 matched typically developing boys (mean age 9.10. ±. 1.79 years) participated in our study. Each child wore a PA monitor for 14. h a day, seven days a week. All participants' parents were asked to fill out daily activity logs for their children. The problems of sensory modulation were detected using sensory profile (SP) questionnaires and Sensory Challenge Protocol that measured electrodermal response (EDR) to repeated sensory stimulation. Compared with the controls, the children with ADHD had a generally higher level of PA (1.48. ±. 0.10 vs. 1.60. ±. 0.12. METs/min; p=. 001), and tended to spend more time in MVPA on weekdays (35.71%) and the weekend (57.14%). However, when analyzing hourly recorded PA, the group differences were obvious only for certain hours. Our data suggested that children with ADHD were more hyperactive in structure-free than structured settings. The ADHD group showed their sensory modulation problems on the SP but not on the EDR. We found some correlations between sensory modulation problems and hyperactivity in children with ADHD.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3477-3486
Number of pages10
JournalResearch in Developmental Disabilities
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2013


  • Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
  • Daily life
  • Hyperactivity
  • Objective measures
  • Physical activity (PA)
  • Sensory modulation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology

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