Level of physical activity and duration of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity among youth with visual impairment Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/tb09j828v

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  • Physical activity is increasingly recognized as a maj or component contributing to the promotion of a healthy lifestyle. Evidence exists that a physically active behavior is carried over from childhood to adolescents and possibly to adulthood. Limited research about the physical activity behavior of students with visual impairment is available, but likely essential for the development of primary health related intervention programs. The purpose of this study was to extend the previous research by examining the physical activity level as well as the duration of moderate to- vigorous physical activity within three distinct settings of the school environment. The second purpose was to examine the level of physical activity and the duration of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity in students with visual impairment between the week and the weekend setting. Fifteen youth between the ages of 11 to 18 with visual impairment and no additional physical disability participated in the study. Participants physical activity was assessed with the Actiwatch® for seven consecutive days. The level of physical activity was measured as the average movement counts per assessed days. The duration of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity was calculated based upon a previously determined cut-point to distinguish between sedentary-to-light and moderate-to-vigorous physical activity. The results of the repeated measure ANOVAs indicated that there were statistical differences within the school settings for the level of physical activity, F (1,13) = 29.13, p < .01, and for the duration of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity, F (1,13) = 33.53, p < .01. The highest amount of physical activity was found during physical education followed by recess and the regular classroom. This finding supports the importance of physical education and supports the focus of possible interventions within the school environment, which should focus on recess to increase the voluntary engagement in moderate-to-vigorous physical activity. The results of the 2x2 (gender X setting) repeated measure ANOVAs indicated that there were statistical differences for both physical activity variables between the school week and the weekend. No interactions with gender and settings were identified. This finding suggests to focus interventions and health-promotion on the parental environment, since the participants were less active during the weekend. The present study contributes information about the physical activity behavior and patterns of youth with visual impairment to the current literature. Future research needs to take place to determine which factors are predicting variables for physical activity in individuals with visual impairment. In addition, further research is needed to make reliable and valid statements about physical activity in this population.
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