Research on investigating the correlates of physical activity in people with intellectual disabilities

Understanding barriers and enablers towards physical activity is an essential first step to developing interventions and increasing activity levels of people with intellectual disabilities. Virtus Academy manager Dr. Debbie Van Biesen along with her team of researchers recently published a paper where they investigated the correlates of physical activity in people with intellectual disability.

“I and my colleagues performed a review of all existing literature and identified that the three most consistent correlates of physical activity were age, the presence of more severe ID and the presence of physical mobility problems,” said Dr Debbie.

A total of 83 PA correlates were identified, retrieved from 39 studies with a total involvement of 26,456 participants with ID.  A correlation was considered consistent if it was reported in four or more studies.

Despite the abundance of evidence of the PA benefits for people with ID, we only found consistent evidence for three correlates reliably being related to PA in adults with ID. More research, particularly among young and older people is urgently needed.” Dr. Debbie added. 

As more severe intellectual disability and the presence of physical health problems were found to be important barriers to being active in adults with intellectual disability, this study is supporting the II-2 class (athletes with an intellectual disability and significant additional impairment) development within Virtus Sports Competitions.

The 50 first downloads are free, so being quick is recommended. The article can be downloaded from here.