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Minerva Pediatrica 2006 June;58(3):219-26


Physical activity for adolescente with intellectual disability

Lotan M. 1, 2, Henderson C. M. 3, Merrick J. 4, 5, 6, 7

1 Therapeutic Department Zvi Quittman Residential Center Millie Shime Campus Elwyn, Jerusalem, Israel 2 Department of Physiotherapy Academic College of Judea and Samaria Ariel, Israel 3 Department of Medicine University of Rochester Highland Hospital and Strong Memorial Hospital Rochester, NY, USA 4 National Institute of Child Health and Human Development Faculty of Health Sciences Ben Gurion University of the Negev Beer-Sheva, Israel 5 Division of Pediatrics Faculty of Health Sciences Ben Gurion University of the Negev Beer-Sheva, Israel 6 Center for Multidisciplinary Research in Aging Faculty of Health Sciences Ben Gurion University of the Negev Beer-Sheva, Israel 7 Office of the Medical Director Division for Mental Retardation Ministry of Social Affairs Jerusalem, Israel


Numerous studies have described an association between participation in physical activity and an enhanced sense of well-being. These findings have been documented in both genders across the lifespan. Connections between exercise and positive physical, psychological, emotional and educational outcomes have also been found. New findings indicate that is an ongoing and increasing tendency for sedentary lifestyles across age groups and gender in many countries. In addition, there are many factors that work together to contribute to a sedentary lifestyle in individuals with intellectual and developmental disability (ID/DD). These findings are concerning, and indicate that people with ID/DD are at relatively high risk for the development of multiple negative consequences of physical inactivity. This review presents current literature that addresses the question of physical activity in adolescents with ID/DD. In addition, this review presents the connection between higher levels of physical fitness and better health in youths with ID/DD. Strategies to promote physical activity in the adolescent population with ID/DD are presented. The available evidence base strongly supports the high need for the establishment of community based, easily accessible physical activity programs for children and adolescents with ID/DD.

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