Exploring the physical activity levels of students with mental retardation and students without disabilities in both school and after-school environments Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/bc386n23s

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  • The focus of this research was to gain an understanding of physical activity in elementary school-aged children with mental retardation (MR). The primary purpose of the first study was to investigate physical activity levels of children with and without MR in both school and out of school environments. The secondary purpose of the first study was to determine if there is a relationship between physical activity and motor skills in children with MR. Physical activity levels of 9 children with MR and 37 without were recorded over 7 days using an accelerometer. Motor skills were assessed using the Movement Assessment Battery for Children. Physical activity levels for children with MR were significantly lower during the school day. Children without MR were 53% more active during recess and 133% more active during physical education than children with MR. The disparity in physical activity continued outside of school where children without MR were 52% more active after school and 33% more active on the weekend than children with MR. There were no significant correlations between physical activity times and motor skills in either group. These findings indicate that interventions to increase physical activity in individuals with MR should to begin in the elementary school years. The primary purpose of the second study was to investigate if children with MR spend more time watching TV or on the computer than children without disabilities. The secondary purpose of study was to determine if total screen time correlates with physical activity levels. Parents of the participants recorded TV time and computer time over four days. Physical activity levels of the children were recorded with accelerometers. There was no difference in TV time or computer time in children with MR and children without MR. The correlation between after school physical activity and screen time was moderate in children with MR (r=.69 and low for children without MR (r=-.32). These results of this research suggest that there might be different patterns in the development of sedentary behaviors between children with and without MR, indicating that unique interventions may be needed for individuals with MR.
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