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Percept Mot Skills. 1989 Feb;68(1):167-74.

Effects of physical exercise on peripheral vision and learning in children with spina bifida manifesta.

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Special Olympics International, Washington, DC.


The purpose of this research was to investigate the effects of active exercise of the arms on various physiological, perceptual, and cognitive parameters of children with spina bifida manifesta who were aged 9 to 12 yr. Following a 5-min. rest interval, subjects were either not exercised (control days) for a 6-min. period or were exercised (experimental days) for a 6-min. period. Cardiac measures, respiratory function, peripheral vision, and figural learning trials were recorded after exercise. Wilcoxon matched-pairs signed rank tests were computed on the means of the exercise and no-exercise conditions for each measure. Six minutes of active exercise resulted in significant increases in peripheral vision, respiratory and cardiac measures and significant decreases in figural learning trials for these children. A floor effect was noted for the figural learning test. It was concluded that exercise increased blood flow through the lungs allowing for greater oxygen diffusion in the brain and other facilitatory effects resulting in more effective cerebral activity. Curriculum revisions for such children seem to indicate the importance of activity in facilitating subsequent learning.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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