Sports & Fitness and Down Syndrome Abstracts

The 129th Annual Meeting of APHA (2001 Oct 22)

Improving exercise adherence among adults with Down syndrome: Overcoming barriers to exercise

Tamar Heller, PhD, Kelly Hsieh, MS, and James H. Rimmer, PhD.
Department of Disability and Human Development, University of Illinois at Chicago, 1640 West Roosevelt Road, Chicago, IL 60608, (312) 413-1537.

The present study examined the impact of a health promotion program on the exercise knowledge and perception, fitness, and life satisfaction of adults with Down syndrome. The participants included 16 females and 14 males with Down syndrome who have mild or moderate intellectual disabilities age 30-50. They received a 12-week, three days per week program of exercise and health behavior education. Data were collected at baseline and immediately following the intervention. Data about the participants were also collected from the caregivers/staff through self and informant reports. Outcome measures included fitness (peak VO2, strength and endurance), barriers and supports for exercising, life satisfaction, exercise perceptions and knowledge, and exercise self-efficacy. Prior to participation in the program, major barriers described by persons with disabilities and caregivers/staff included costs, motivation, transportation, and access. The facilitators to exercise included receiving encouragement and instructions from others and having someone to exercise with. The intervention resulted in increased fitness, knowledge of exercise, exercise self-efficacy, positive perceptions about exercise, environmental supports, and increases. These results show that adults with Down syndrome can understand health behavior education and benefit from an exercise program. It also provides information on how to develop health promotion programs for adults with Down syndrome.
Med Sci Sports Exerc 25 (2): 270-4 (1993 Feb)

Effects of aerobic training in adolescents with Down syndrome

Millar AL, Fernhall B, Burkett LN
Department of Physical Therapy, Andrews University, Berrien Springs, MI 49104-0420

The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effects that aerobic training has on adolescents and young adults with Down syndrome. Fourteen individuals with Down syndrome (mean age = 17.7 yr) participated in a 10-wk walking/jogging exercise training study. A pre- and post-training walking treadmill test was performed to determine the following parameters: peak oxygen uptake (VO2, absolute and relative), minute ventilation (VE, l.min-1), heart rate HR, b.min-1), RER (VCO2/VO2), and time and grade to exhaustion. Following the pre-training evaluations, subjects were assigned to a control group (N = 4) or an exercise group (N = 10). The exercise group underwent a 10-wk walk/jog training program at a frequency of 3 times per week, for a duration of 30 min, and at an intensity of approximately 65-75% peak HR. Following training, both control and experimental groups showed no changes in peak VO2 (absolute and relative), VE, HR, and RER. The exercise group, however, did demonstrate a significant improvement in peak exercise time (and grade). Although the training program did not produce improvements in aerobic capacity, it did produce gains in walking capacity. It was concluded that the adolescents and young adults may not be able to improve their aerobic capacity when performing a walk/jog training program.
Arch Phys Med Rehabil 73 (9): 847-50 (1992 Sep)

Isokinetic arm and leg strength of adults with Down syndrome: a comparative study

Pitetti KH, Climstein M, Mays MJ, Barrett PJ
Department of Health, Administration, and Gerontology, College of Health Professions, Wichita State University, KS 67208-1595

This study compared isokinetic arm (elbow flexion and extension) and leg (knee flexion and extension) strength of individuals with Down syndrome (DS), with mental retardation without DS (NDS), and sedentary young adults with no mental retardation (NMR). Eighteen individuals with DS, NDS, and NMR (11 men and seven women in each group) performed strength tests on a Cybex 340 isokinetic dynamometer. Parameters measured were peak torque (ft/lb), peak torque percent body weight (%BW), average power (watts), and average power %BW. Subjects with mental retardation (ie, DS and NDS groups) performed the test on two separate days with best test results chosen for statistical comparisons. The NMR group performed the test once. In all isokinetic strength parameters measured for arm strength, the NMR group demonstrated significantly higher scores than subjects with DS and NDS. Subjects with DS and NDS displayed similar test results. Similarly, for all the isokinetic strength parameters measured for leg strength, NMR demonstrated significantly higher scores than subjects with DS and NDS. Subjects with NDS, however, averaged significantly higher test results than subjects with DS for leg strength. The results of this study indicate that both subject populations who were mentally retarded exhibited lower arm and leg strength than the NMR subjects. Additionally, subjects with DS demonstrated inferior leg strength when compared to their peers with NDS.
Med Sci Sports Exerc 24 (1): 13-9 (1992 Jan)

The cardiovascular capacities of adults with Down syndrome: a comparative study

Pitetti KH, Climstein M, Campbell KD, Barrett PJ, Jackson JA
College of Health Professions, Wichita State University, KS 67208-1595

The purpose of this study was to compare the cardiovascular capacities of individuals with Down syndrome (DS) to individuals without Down syndrome who are mentally retarded. Sixteen young adults with DS and 16 individuals without DS (12 males and 4 females, respectively), all with mild/moderate mental retardation, participated in this study. Peak VO2 (absolute and relative), VE (1.min-1), heart rate (HR, b.min-1), and RER (VCO2/VO2) were determined by exercise tests utilizing a treadmill (TM) and Schwinn Air-Dyne ergometer (SAE). The best test result was chosen from the TM and SAE tests and used for statistical comparisons. Cardiac output (Q, 1.min-1) was measured while standing quietly and while walking at 3 mph, 0% grade, using the CO2 rebreathing method for 11 (9 males and 2 females) subjects from each group. Arteriovenous oxygen differences (a-v O2), cardiac index (QI), and stroke volume (SV) were calculated from VO2, Q, HR, and body surface area. Peripheral vascular resistance (PVR), left ventricular work index (LVWI), and left ventricular stroke work index (LVSWI) were calculated from mean arterial pressure, Q, QI, and stroke volume index. Results showed that individuals without DS had statistically significant (P less than 0.01) higher mean peak VO2 (35.6 vs 24.6; 2567 vs 1683 ml.min-1), VE (89.3 vs 59.2 1/min-1), and HR (179 vs 159 b.min-1) than individuals with DS, respectively. No differences in RER were seen between the groups. No differences were seen in cardiovascular parameters measured while quietly standing.