Effects of a Physical Education Curriculum on Work Productivity and Fitness Parameters in High School Students with Mental Retardation. (Special Populations)

Article excerpt

The purpose of this study was to investigate the effectiveness of a school-based physical education progressive resistance-training program on muscular strength, endurance, and work productivity of high school participants with mental retardation. Fourteen high school participants matched according to age, gender, height, and weight were randomly placed into treatment and control groups. Treatment groups participated in a progressive resistance training program and the control group participated in group and individual games. Both programs were 10 weeks in duration at a frequency of twice per week. Vocational and strength assessments were collected at three intervals 5 weeks apart plus a retention assessment. Peak isometric strength was assessed bilaterally using a hand-held dynamometer at the following sites: elbow flexion, elbow extension, shoulder abduction, knee flexion and knee extension, which were summed to create composite scores for the upper and lower body. Vocational assessments were representative of typical job skills for this population and consisted of a dolly push (timed distance), pail carry (timed distance), box stacking (timed repetitions), and chair stacking (timed repetitions). …