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Gazzetta Medica Italiana Archivio per le Scienze Mediche 2013 July-August;172(7-8):611-8

Copyright © 2013 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

language: English

Influence of therapeutic riding on children with intellectual disabilities

Kang O. D. 1, Ryu Y. C. 1, Lee W. S. 1, Kwon T. J. 1, Kang J. Y. 2, Kang M. S. 1

1 Division of Biotechnology, Jeju National University, Jeju, South Korea; 2 Child Develpement Support Center, Jeju, South Korea


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Aim: The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effect of therapeutic riding (TR) on the physical fitness in children with intellectual disabilities.
Methods: Six children diagnosed with intellectual disabilities participated as candidates in this study. There were three males and three females from a special class in a primary school. TR program sessions were provided twice a week for 8 weeks. Each rider was assessed on balance, general coordination, agility, and flexibility before therapeutic riding (T0), after 8 sessions (T1), and after 16 sessions (T2).
Results: A comparison of each rider’s physical fitness before and after TR showed significant differences in balance, coordination, and flexibility. The balance measurement showed that balance lasted longer after TR than before (P < 0.001). The comparison of coordination and power measurements showed significant differences after TR than before. The results of flexibility measurement in this study increased by a mean of 6.83 cm after TR (P < 0.5). The average flexibility increased more in the male group than the female group. The results of this study found that TR positively increases the physical fitness in children with ID.
Conclusion: This data will be useful to understand the importance of a TR program and improve the qualitative effects of TR.

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