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Youngsters With Intellectual Disability and Mild Limitations in Physical Fitness

This is an excerpt from Brockport Physical Fitness Test Manual 2nd Edition With Web Resource by Joseph Winnick & Francis Short.

Health-Related Concerns

 

Health-related needs and concerns of youngsters with intellectual disability and mild limitations in physical fitness include those of youngsters in the general population. Additional concerns relate to inability to sustain aerobic activity and musculoskeletal functioning within acceptable levels and incapacity for independent living and participation in daily living activities (including sport and movement activities).

 

Desired Profile

 

Boys and girls aged 10 to 17 years with intellectual disability and mild limitations in physical fitness should possess, at minimum, levels of aerobic behavior consistent with the ability to sustain moderate physical activity or progress toward a level of aerobic capacity consistent with positive health; body composition consistent with positive health; healthful levels of flexibility or range of motion (especially of the lower back); and levels of abdominal and upper-body strength and endurance appropriate for independent living, participation in physical activities, and progress toward performance levels of peers in the general population.

 

Components of Physical Fitness

 

Test items to assess aerobic functioning, body composition, and musculoskeletal functioning for this population appear in table 4.2.


 

Standards and Fitness Zones

 

The physical fitness of youngsters with intellectual disability is evaluated using both general and specific standards. Youngsters attaining HFZs based on general standards related to body composition, aerobic behavior, and flexibility meet acceptable health-related levels of physical fitness for the general population. Youngsters meeting AFZ levels based on specific standards for test items attain target levels of physical fitness adjusted for the effects of impairment. AFZ levels represent attainable steps in progressing toward acceptable levels of health-related physical fitness for the general population. Standards and fitness zones for youngsters with intellectual disability and mild limitation in fitness can be found in Fitness Zone tables 3 and 4, located at the end of the chapter.

 

Aerobic Functioning

 

Aerobic capacity in youngsters with intellectual disability is evaluated using AFZs and HFZs based on specific and general standards associated with the PACER. AFZs represent target levels of aerobic capacity adjusted for youngsters with intellectual disability. They reflect a 10 percent downward adjustment from the HFZ standards for V\od\O2max recommended for youngsters in the general population. General standards and HFZs for V\od\O2max represent levels of aerobic capacity consistent with minimizing potential risk for future health problems and with adequate functioning for daily living. Aerobic behavior is measured by the TAMT, in which performance for 15 minutes at level 1 is an HFZ based on a general standard representing ability to sustain moderate physical activity. The same standard exists for all levels of the test. Level 1 is the minimal test level recommended for youngsters with intellectual disability and mild limitations in physical fitness.

 

Body Composition

 

The HFZs based on general standards are recommended for evaluation of body composition of youngsters with intellectual disability and mild limitation in physical fitness. No adjustments are made for disability.

 

Musculoskeletal Functioning

 

HFZs and AFZs based on general and specific standards are used for evaluating dominant grip strength, extended-arm hang, isometric push-up, bench press, and flexed-arm hang for youngsters with intellectual disability and mild limitation in physical fitness. The AFZs reflect levels of strength or endurance adjusted for intellectual disability. Specific standards for youngsters with intellectual disability represent the following percentages of the performances of students in the general population: dominant grip strength, 65 percent; extended-arm hang, 75 percent; isometric push-up, bench press, flexed-arm hang, and modified curl-up, 50 percent.

 

Youngsters with intellectual disability can also be evaluated using general standards. For dominant grip, extended-arm hang, isometric push-up, and bench press, the general standards represent approximately the 20th percentile of performance by a Project Target sample of youth from the general population. General standards for flexed-arm hang and modified curl-up represent minimal standards for youth from the general population (Cooper Institute, 2013). It is recommended that HFZs based on general standards reflecting positive levels of physical fitness be used for evaluation of the back-saver sit-and-reach, trunk lift, and shoulder stretch.

 

Learn more about Brockport Physical Fitness Test Manual, Second Edition.