Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Pediatr Phys Ther. 2006 Summer;18(2):159-67.

Evaluation of a community-based group fitness program for children with disabilities.

Author information

Research Center for Children With Special Needs, Franciscan Hospital for Children, Brighton, Massachusetts, USA.



This study examined the feasibility, safety, and effectiveness of a community-based group fitness program for children with disabilities.


Twenty-eight children with neuromuscular and developmental disabilities, 6 to 14 years of age, participated. The 16-week community-based program, held twice weekly, consisted of strengthening, aerobic conditioning, and flexibility exercises. A pretest-posttest design was used, and the following outcomes were measured: isometric muscle strength of the knee extensors, hip abductors, and ankle plantarflexors, walking energy expenditure, functional mobility, and fitness. Falls and injury data also were collected.


Mean program attendance was 75.3%, and no injuries were reported. Improvements in all clinical outcomes were observed. The most clinically meaningful improvement was in functional mobility with a large effect size (0.87).


Physical therapists partnering with community centers may feasibly and safely shift group fitness programs for school-aged children with disabilities from the medical setting to the community.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Lippincott Williams & Wilkins
    Loading ...
    Support Center