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Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2019 Mar 30;16(7). pii: E1152. doi: 10.3390/ijerph16071152.

Tai Chi as an Alternative Exercise to Improve Physical Fitness for Children and Adolescents with Intellectual Disability.

Author information

1
Faculty of Education, University of Macau, Macao, China. zwkong@um.edu.mo.
2
Faculty of Education, University of Macau, Macao, China. tmsze@um.edu.mo.
3
Department of Sports Science and Physical Education, the Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shatin, Hong Kong, China. jieyu0203@gmail.com.
4
Department of Health, Exercise Science and Recreation Management, The University of Mississippi, University, MS 38677, USA. pdloprin@olemiss.edu.
5
College of Mathematics and Statistics, Shenzhen University, Shenzhen 518060, China. taoxiao@szu.edu.cn.
6
Depression Clinical and Research Program at the Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02115, USA. ayeung@mgh.harvard.edu.
7
Physical Education and Sports Science Academic Group, National Institute of Education, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore 637616, Singapore. cxlilee@gmail.com.
8
Faculty of Education, University of Macau, Macao, China. frank2011macau@gmail.com.
9
Lifestyle (Mind-Body Movement) Research Center, College of Sports Science, Shenzhen University, Shenzhen 518060, China. liyezou123@gmail.com.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of Tai Chi (TC) on anthropometric parameters and physical fitness among children and adolescents with intellectual disabilities (ID).

METHODS:

Sixty-six Chinese individuals engaged in sport-related extracurricular activities (TC and aerobic exercise (AE)) as exercise interventions or arts/crafts activities as a control condition (CON). The experimental protocol consisted of a baseline assessment, a 12-week intervention period, and a post-intervention assessment.

RESULTS:

Significant interaction effect was only observed in the performance of a 6-min walk test. After 12 weeks of intervention, the AE group had significant changes in body mass index (p = 0.006, d = 0.11), sit-ups (p = 0.030 and d = 0.57), and 6-min walk test (p = 0.005, d = 0.89). Significant increases in vertical jump (p = 0.048, d = 0.41), lower-limb coordination (p = 0.008, d = 0.53), and upper-limb coordination (p = 0.048, d = 0.36) were observed in the TC group. Furthermore, the TC group demonstrated significantly greater improvements on balance compared to the control group (p = 0.011).

CONCLUSIONS:

TC may improve leg power and coordination of both lower and upper limbs, while AE may be beneficial for body mass index, sit-ups and cardiorespiratory fitness.

KEYWORDS:

BMI; aerobic exercise; balance; coordination; developmental disability; flexibility; mind–body movement

PMID:
30935071
PMCID:
PMC6479776
DOI:
10.3390/ijerph16071152
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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