Research Study Abstract

Physical Activity Levels of Adults and Seniors with Intellectual Disability

  • Presented on July 3, 2014

Introduction: Individuals with intellectual disabilities (ID) have low physical activity (PA) levels (PAL) and daily energy expenditure (DEE)(1;2). Aging process begins earlier in adults with ID(3). Nowadays it is possible to assess PAL, intensity, steps and DEE objectively through accelerometry in this population(4). Purpose: To analyze the PAL of adults (AID) and seniors (SID) with mild to moderate ID.

Methods: An AID group (AIDG; 22 male/16 female) 20-44 years old and a SID group (SIDG; 21 male/15 female) 45-70 years old were recruited from an Occupational Day Center for people with ID (Girona, Spain). After obtaining the informed consent and the approval of the IRB, a health screening questionnaire was completed by each participant’s parent(s) and/or legal guardian. Height and weight were obtained to calculate BMI. PAL was obtained using the GT3X Actigraph accelerometer. Data were collected during 7 days obtaining total PA (TPA), steps per day (DS), time spent in sedentary (ST), light PA (LPA); moderate PA (MPA), vigorous PA (VPA), moderate to vigorous PA (MVPA) and DEE. One-way ANCOVA was applied to compare differences between groups controlling for possible confounding variables (BMI and ID level). One-way Anova was performed to examine differences between groups in MVPA across the 7 days. Partial correlation adjusted for BMI and ID level was performed to analyze relations between age and MVPA.

Results: ANCOVA showed that the SIDG had significant lowers values in the TPA (p=.030) and higher values of ST (p=.026) when compared with the AIDG. When comparing the 7 week-days, ANOVA showed significant differences on Monday and Friday (p<.050), when the AIDG spent more minutes in MVPA than the SIDG. Partial correlation showed that age is adversely related with DEE (r=-.24; p=.044); TPA (r=-.34; p=.004); AFM (r=-.29; p=.015); AFV (r=-44; p<.001); AFMV (r=-.30; p=.012) and positively related with ST (r=.27; p=.026).

Conclusions: These groups of individuals with ID showed low PAL. The TPA is higher in the AIDG when comparing to the SIDG, who also presented more ST. Higher age is related to lower PAL. Well designed preventive health strategies and interventions to raise PAL in people with ID are needed.

References: 1. Melville, C. A., Boyle, S., Miller, S., Macmillan, S., Penpraze, V., Pert, C., … Hankey, C. R. (2011). British Journal of Nutrition, 105(10), 1553. 2. Dixon-ibarra, A., Lee, M., & Dugala, A. (2013). Adapted Physical Activity Quarterly, 30, 1–19. 3. Berjano Peirats, E., & García Burgos, E. Madrid: FEAPS, 2010. 4. Phillips, A. C., & Holland, A. J. (2011). PloS One, 6(12), e28618. *Partially supported by: MEC (Ref: DEP2012-35335) & AGAUR (Ref: 2013FI_B2 00091)


  • Oviedo, G.R. 1
  • Javierre, C. 2
  • Fortuño, J. 1
  • Barnet, S. 1
  • Massó, C. 3
  • Guerra, M. 1


  • 1

    University Ramon Llul

  • 2

    University of Barcelona

  • 3

    Fundació Ramon Noguera

Presented at

ECSS 2014


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