Physical Fitness of Adults with an Intellectual Disability: A 13-Year Follow-Up Study

By Graham, Andrew; Reid, Greg | Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport, June 2000 | Go to article overview

Physical Fitness of Adults with an Intellectual Disability: A 13-Year Follow-Up Study


Graham, Andrew, Reid, Greg, Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport


The purpose of this study was to describe the change in physical fitness of middle-aged adults with an intellectual disability over a period of 13 years. Participants were 32 adults who worked in a supported work environment in Montreal and had been participants in a physical fitness study in 1983. Using the Canadian Standardized Test of Fitness, the participants were evaluated for cardiovascular endurance, muscular strength, muscular endurance, flexibility, and body composition. A home visit prior to the testing session refamiliqrized the participants with the test procedures. Two forms of analysis were used to describe the change in fitness over 13 years. First, a 2 x 2 (Group x Time) analysis of variance for each dependent variable assessed change over time. Second, effect sizes were calculated to measure the magnitude of change in fitness over the 13-year period in comparison to those without an intellectual disability. As expected, the physical fitness levels of the participants were low when compared to those without a disability and declined over the 13 years. In addition, the magnitude of change over the 13 years, as compared to those without a disability, was greater for male and female participants for body mass index and percentage of body fat and for female participants for cardiovascular endurance and sit-ups. It appears that adults with an intellectual disability may be particularly at risk for declining health associated with aging and low physical fitness.

Key words: mental retardation, aging, physical activity, cardiovascular health

Research has demonstrated a significant decline in fitness throughout middle age (ages 30-60 years; Going, Williams, Lohman, & Hewitt, 1994; Lee, Paffenbarger, & Hsieh, 1992; Paffenbarger et al., 1994). This decline is related to a decrease in physical activity during this same period. Large epidemiological studies have shown that people need an adequate level of fitness to live healthy, disease-free lives (Blair et al., 1995; Lee, Hseih, & Paffenbarger, 1995; Paffenbarger et al., 1994). The benefits to be gained from an active lifestyle are numerous and may result in a reduction of coronary heart disease, osteoporosis, depression, hypertension, renal disease, Type II diabetes, and some forms of cancer (Rauramma, Tuomainen, Vaisanen, & Rankinen, 1995; Shephard, 1995). Estimates suggest that if half the population of sedentary individuals in the United States became moderately active, the number of deaths from coronary heart disease, colon cancer, and diabetes would fall by 22,000 per year (Blair, 1995). Speci fically during middle age, there is an inverse relationship with heart disease and physical activity (Sandvik et al., 1995; Seccarecia & Menotti, 1992). Thus, physical activity and physical fitness have become important and meaningful areas of inquiry, particularly during middle age.

Perhaps the most extensive and comprehensive study of physical fitness and physical activity patterns was undertaken in Canada (Government of Canada, 1982). The Canada Fitness Survey assessed approximately 16,000 Canadians, ranging in age from 7 to 69 years, on fitness measures of body composition, cardiovascular endurance, muscular endurance, strength, and flexibility. It produced a cross-sectional view of the decline in fitness over the middle-age years. In addition, an extensive questionnaire explored issues such as preferred physical activities, extent of involvement, and barriers to present and future activity.

Most people have the ability and opportunity to attend to their own physical activity needs. However, others may require assistance to live a healthy and active lifestyle. This includes individuals with an intellectual disability, previously referred to as mental retardation. It is questionable whether they are aware of the debilitating consequences of a sedentary lifestyle or have enough self-direction to modify their lifestyle (Pitetti, Rimmer, & Fernhall 1993), particularly when one considers how difficult it is for people without a disability to initiate and adhere to an exercise program (Dishman, 1994). …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Physical Fitness of Adults with an Intellectual Disability: A 13-Year Follow-Up Study
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.