Physical Fitness Levels of Young Adults With and Without Intellectual Disability
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Intellectual disability (ID) and living in residential home settings may be a disadvantage for an active lifestyle and healthy aging. The purpose of this study was to determine physical fitness (PF) levels of women with mild intellectual disabilities (n=31; mean age 22.22+/-3.11 years), clients of residential homes, and to compare them to the PF levels of their control peers (n=31; 23.16+/-3.12 years of age). First, cardiovascular disease risk factors (CVD) of the participants were determined based on the information from residential home doctor, participants' health reports, and blood sample analyses. Health-related physical fitness parameters (balance, cardiorespiratory endurance, muscular endurance, and flexibility) were measured, and body composition and anaerobic power were assessed. The significant differences were found between the groups (p<.05) in body mass index, muscular endurance, maximum walking distance, peak VO2, balance, flexibility, and power. The results of the study indicated that the PF levels of women with ID were lower than those of their control peers. Women with ID should be encouraged to participate in physical activity programs to improve their physical fitness.