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Res Dev Disabil. 2013 Sep;34(9):2701-7. doi: 10.1016/j.ridd.2013.05.034. Epub 2013 Jun 14.

Effects of a trampoline exercise intervention on motor performance and balance ability of children with intellectual disabilities.

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Department of Physical Education and Sports Science, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Serres, Greece.


Balance and motor impairments are most evident among inactive individuals with ID that might be particularly susceptible to a loss of basic functioning and further limit the person's autonomy in activities of daily living. The aim of the study was to assess the effect of a 12-week trampoline exercise intervention program on motor and balance ability of school aged children with intellectual disability (ID). Eighteen healthy schools aged children (mean age=10.3 ± 1.6 years) with moderate ID were assigned either to an experimental group (n=9) or a control group (n=9). The experiment group attended a 12 weeks trampoline training intervention program consisting of daily individualized 20-min sessions, while the control group followed the regular school schedule. Balance was assessed using three tasks of increased difficulty (double-leg stance with eyes opened or closed, and one-leg stance with eyes opened) performed while standing on an electronic pressure platform (EPS). Motor performance of all participants was tested using sit and reach test and long and vertical jump tests all derived from the Eurofit Test Battery of physical fitness. Trampoline intervention resulted in significant improvements of participants' performance in all motor and balance tests. In conclusion, trampoline training can be an effective intervention for improving functional outcomes and can be recommended as an alternative mode of physical activity programming for improving balance and motor performance. Furthermore, it also supports the idea that individuals with ID require enjoyable and interesting intervention programs such as the trampoline program used in this study so as to remain active and consequently to facilitate their overall development and promote a more active and healthier way of life.


Center of pressure; Eurofit; Mental retardation; Physical fitness; Training

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