Academic journal article Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport

Improving Performance in Functional Tasks through Balance in Individuals with Mental Retardation

Academic journal article Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport

Improving Performance in Functional Tasks through Balance in Individuals with Mental Retardation

Article excerpt

Balance is an essential component of motor performance. Individuals with mental retardation demonstrate postural sway and overall coordination deficits which limit their ability to perform functional tasks. The purpose of this study was to investigate the effectiveness of balance training on functional tasks in individuals with mental retardation. Ten high school students from a self-contained Special Education classroom participated in a balance program three times weekly for 12 weeks. Each session lasted approximately 20-30 min and was held in the classroom under the direction of the Adapted Physical Education Specialist. Balance measures were collected prior to commencing the intervention and immediately following the training program using the NeuroCom Equitest, specifically, the Sensory Organization Test (SOT), weight bearing squat, and step up and over. Data analysis indicated a significant difference in the SOT, F(1, 9) = 14.8, p < .01. This translated to a 25.8% increase from pre- to posttest. The weight bearing squat measured weight distribution at knee flexion 0[degrees], 30[degrees], 60[degrees], and 90[degrees]. Pretest data indicated that participants were right side dominant 58.6% versus 43.2% left side. Post test data indicated that weight distribution was more symmetrical after training as indicated by 51.9% right side and 48.1% left. …

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