Recess, Not Ritalin, Can Help Kids With ADHD

Imagine a treatment that would help kids deal with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), make them smarter and healthier, and improve their mood.  And best of all, it’s free!

Nature And Exercise Can Improve ADHD

It’s called nature. A growing body of research is revealing the positive effects that exercising outdoors can have on kids with ADHD.

From Dr. David L. Katz, writing at

When my colleagues and I  conducted a study of our school-based physical activity program, ABC for Fitness, one of the findings was a 33% reduction in medication use for ADHD! I have long said that rambunctiousness in kids is normal and should be treated with recess, not Ritalin.

Get Active At Least Twice A Week!

Associate Professor Wendy Oddy, of the Telethon Institute for Child Health Research in Perth, Australia,  says that exercise of any sort or duration was protective against ADHD in a recent study that she conducted, provided that children engaged in it at least twice a week. She suggested that if children aren’t athletic sorts, they could find other activities that get them active, whether it’s riding a bike or simply walking to school.

And Then There’s The Question Of Diet


There are studies suggesting that food additives — colorings, flavorings, etc. — are associated with behavioral disorders in young people, and that the substitution of “pure” foods may help alleviate them. In general, the available studies indict highly processed foods and suggest benefits from foods close to nature.

Association Between ADHD And Diet

Oddy’s study, published online in the Journal of Attention Disorders suggests that sugar, along with other types of unhealthy processed foods, could have more subtle effects on a child’s mental health. The study found an association between Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and diet, specifically Western diets that include too many processed meats, full-fat dairy, and unhealthy carbohydrates.

The authors noted that certain foods were also more likely to influence ADHD risk. For instance, kids who had the highest intakes of fast food, sweets, red meat, processed meats, and high-fat dairy products were the most likely to have ADHD, and kids who at a lot of potato chips and drank more soft drinks had an elevated risk as well.

Ritalin May Not Be The Answer

All in all, there are plenty of good reasons to rethink the use of Ritalin to treat kids with ADHD, and replace it with a healthy diet and plenty of exercise.


Photo from iStock


K B.
K B4 years ago

This might be a little late to comment , but I will anyway,

Following is a petition which asks the schools to educate their teachers and staff about adhd, I've had a few teachers sign because they care ..

Have a good week , love to all and thanks for the article

Read more:

Lisa D'arcangelis
Lisa Plunkett5 years ago

Amen! This is exactly what I've been saying for a loooong time!

Andrea A.
Andrea A5 years ago


Karla B.
K B6 years ago

If you're a teacher who's helping special needs student or a concerned parent
sign this petition

Shelly Peterson
Shelly Peterson6 years ago

I so agree with the title!!! the point and true!

Lika S.
Lika P6 years ago

I personally think that drugs like Ritalin are too harsh for our children, and pushed too much like candy.

And imagine that, naturally letting some of the "H" in ADHD out during regular activities such as recess and P.E... Novel idea that our grandparents already understood YEARS ago.

Anne Brabson
Anne B6 years ago

Our school district gives elementary aged kids only 30 minutes of recess a day-not enough, certainly-and many students in my 2nd grade class choose to spend it gossiping with their friends or teasing others instead of running around, dribbling a basketball, etc. As a teacher I find it sad and discouraging for ALL kids!

Frank S.
Past Member 6 years ago

Children don't need Ritalin , they need better teachers who understand how to teach children

Sumit jamadar
Sumit jamadar6 years ago


Scottie K.
Scottie K6 years ago

a excellent idea, unquestionably recess/exercise has mitigating effects on any number of developmental and also Axis 1 disoders(see DSM 4thedition & addendum not perfect but still given the paucity of our knowledge about the brain, its realtion to the soul and spirit at least a way to define terms and the bits we have found concerning its chemical reactions and relationship to genetic inheritance informing such)it
should be said that tossing out all meds, some of which have, for many ,proved efficacious ,is perhaps not the best of ideas.It should also be noted that many disorders, while having the same symptoms might very well have different etiologies.
this, of course is one of the difficulties which plagues the classification and diagnoses of disorders affecting mental processes.
Given this problem i am still inclined to go for what i have found to work for me.
I have extreme attentional difficulties for which I gained mitigation by taking atomoxatine commonly know by the trade name Strattera.this particular beastie is not a stimulant but a selective norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor(ritalin and similar drugs have actually been caused me a desire to have a nap.Oppositional reactions such as this are fairly common for adults with the disorder or those having
bipolar disorders.So take this at the worth you assign it remembering how unique is individual experience