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Year : 2016  |  Volume : 16  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 163-167

Benefits of physical activity for autism spectrum disorders: A systematic review

Department of Physiology, Faculty of Medicine, King Saud University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Abdulrahman Mohammed Alhowikan
Department of Physiology, Faculty of Medicine, King Saud University, PO Box 2925, Riyadh 11461
Saudi Arabia
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/1319-6308.187558

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The purpose of this systematic review was to collect and synthesize evidence from the studies of physical activity (PA)-based interventions for children and adolescents with autism spectrum disorders (ASDs). Systematic search procedures identified 11 studies meeting predetermined inclusion criteria. These studies were evaluated in terms of the following: (a) participant characteristics, (b) type of exercise, and (c) outcomes. Across the corpus of studies, the preliminary search identified 47 studies and exercise was implemented with 115 male (76%) and 36 female (23%) with ASD, aged 4-19 years. A variety of exercise activities were employed (e.g., skating, jogging, horse and bike riding). Following the exercise interventions, decreases in stereotypy, aggression, off-task behavior, improved objective sleep on nights. There is a clear need for further systematic research to develop the way in which exercise prescription provided and increase the sample size those participate in PA. In conclusion, PA reduces stereotypy or self-stimulatory behavior and increases participation in more PAs.

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