Autism Corner: Does Physical Activity Have Special Benefits for Autism?
[Source: Autism Speaks]
Guest post by Sean Healy, author of a new meta-analysis of research on the benefits of exercise for youth who have autism. Dr. Healy is an assistant professor in the Department of Behavioral Health and Nutrition, at the University of Delaware. He conducts research on physical activity adapted to the needs of special groups.
The phrase “exercise is medicine” is a common refrain among fitness experts and health practitioners. A wealth of research gives credence to this truism. And now – thanks to a growing number of studies involving youth with autism – we can confidently say that physical activity provides them with a wide range of benefits.
I recently published the results of my team’s meta-analysis of 29 studies looking at the benefits of exercise among more than a thousand young people on the autism spectrum. In a meta-analysis, we combine the findings of multiple studies to gain a deeper and more reliable picture of a potential effect of an intervention.
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