Introduction: Previous studies have established a direct connection between levels of physical fitness and the time needed to perform daily tasks in adults with intellectual disabilities. These findings indicate that physical activity can improve the quality of life of individuals with intellectual
disabilities. The aim of this pilot study was to evaluate the effects of an eight-week specially adapted basketball training program on the physical fitness of adolescents with mental retardation.
Methods: Twelve adolescents (6 males and 6 females, mean age 15.1±1.5 yrs) with mental retardation participated in the study. A specially adapted basketball training program was conducted four times per week over eight consecutive weeks. Each training session lasted approximately 30 minutes. Anthropometric measurements included height, weight, and percentper cent body fat. Exercise testing included monitoring of heart rate (HR at rest and HR at the end of the 6-MWT) and the six-minute walk test (6-MWT).
Results: The obtained results showed that the specially adapted training program improved the physical fitness of adolescents with mental retardation (6-MWT distance 473.7 m ±74.5 pre vs. 672.6 m ± 76.1 post, p<0.05; HR at the end of the 6-MWT 122.1 beats/min ± 16.5 pre vs. 116.8 beats/min ± 9.4 post, p<0.05); however, this type of training did not decrease body weight or percentper cent body fat in the adolescent participants.
Conclusion: Considering the small number of participants who were involved in the study, the obtained results provide only limited information on the sources and magnitude of the variation in response measures, but these results support the design of a full-scale experiment on this topic.
Autori: Zoran Stanišić1, Miodrag Kocić2, Marko Aleksandrović2, Nemanja Stanković2 i Dragan Radovanović2