To detect the impact of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise combined with acupuncture on the attention function of mentally-retarded adolescents from the three dimensions of attention concentration, attention transfer and attention span.
A total of 48 adolescents with mild to moderate mental disabilities were recruited. The participants were randomly divided into four groups: control group (C), Traditional Chinese Medicine acupuncture group (M), moderate-intensity aerobic exercise group (E) and exercise and acupuncture combined intervention group (J). Before and after the experimental intervention, the participant’s height, weight and attention ability were measured.
The improved range of attention total duration of the J group after the intervention was significantly higher than that of the E and M groups (0.05), whereas that of the latter groups was significantly higher compared to that of the C group ( 0.05). The J group showed significantly higher ( 0.05) attention span values after the intervention compared to the E, M and C groups. The C group did not show a significant difference in attention transfer at 12 weeks compared to before intervention (0.05), whereas the E, M and J groups increased significantly ( 0.05) after intervention than the C group.
Moderate-intensity aerobic exercise combined with acupuncture can more effectively improve the attention concentration and attention span of mentally-retarded adolescents than aerobic exercise or acupuncture alone.