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Open AccessArticle

The Effect of Music on Exercise Intensity among Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder: A Pilot Study

Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences, University of Massachusetts Amherst, 135 Hicks Way, Amherst, MA 01003, USA
Boston Higashi School, Research Division, 800 North Main Street, Randolph, MA 02368, USA
Boston Children’s Hospital, Laboratories of Cognitive Neuroscience, 1 Autumn Street, Boston, MA 02115, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
J. Clin. Med. 2018, 7(3), 38;
Received: 12 January 2018 / Revised: 16 February 2018 / Accepted: 18 February 2018 / Published: 26 February 2018
(This article belongs to the Section Pathergasiology & Psychology)
Children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) are at risk for obesity, commonly have sleep disorders, and exhibit stereotypic behaviors that disrupt their learning. Vigorous levels of exercise have been shown to ameliorate these issues in children with ASD, but little research exists to provide techniques for motivating children with ASD to engage in exercise. The present study examined the effect of music on exercise intensity in a group of 13 elementary school students with ASD. Data were collected across six days during structured (e.g., verbal and physical prompts) and unstructured (e.g., minimal prompting) exercise periods. During these exercise periods, three music conditions were randomized: no music, slow-tempo music, and fast-tempo music. Exercise intensity, measured in Metabolic Equivalent of Tasks by triaxial accelerometers, was greatest during the structured exercise periods and during the slow music condition. Student characteristics moderated the impact of music condition on exercise intensity, such that students with high levels of adaptive behavior or lower levels of maladaptive behavior displayed greater exercise intensity during the fast music condition. View Full-Text
Keywords: autism; autism spectrum disorder; exercise; music; jogging autism; autism spectrum disorder; exercise; music; jogging
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Woodman, A.C.; Breviglia, E.; Mori, Y.; Golden, R.; Maina, J.; Wisniewski, H. The Effect of Music on Exercise Intensity among Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder: A Pilot Study. J. Clin. Med. 2018, 7, 38.

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