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Responsiveness of people with moderate and significant intellectual disability to physical stimulation

Academy of Physical Education, Katowice, Poland
Educational-Revalidational Aggregate School Institution, Wlodzislaw, Silesia, Poland
The aim of the research was to verify whether intellectually disabled people are responsive to motor stimulation, and whether the specific physical exercises, besides traditional rehabilitation and occupational therapy, would result in physical fitness enhancement.

Material and Methods:
The research was carried out on 259 persons with moderate and significant intellectual disability, participants of occupational therapy workshops. They were divided into two groups: a control group that underwent traditional rehabilitation treatment and occupational therapy, and an experimental group that additionally performed feasible physical exercises for 10 months. Participants’ body mass and height were measured to calculate their body mass index (BMI). Physical fitness was assessed with the Eurofit Special test and additional balance tests, at the beginning and at the end of the experiment.

The results showed that the body mass of both men and women increased in the control group, and was reduced in the experimental group. The results of the physical fitness tests were more varied, in which the control group obtained similar results in the repeated measurements, and the experimental group significantly improved the initial results after 10 months of performing the feasible physical exercises.

The applied physical exercises performed in the experimental group were effective because they caused body mass loss and significant improvement in physical fitness.

Marzena Ślężyńska   
Academy of Physical Education, Katowice, Poland
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