Physical Fitness of Trained Runners with and without Mild Mental Retardation

in Adapted Physical Activity Quarterly
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The purpose of this study was to compare physical fitness levels of trained runners with mild mental retardation (MMR) (7 males and 2 females, age = 28.7 ± 7.4 years, weight = 67.0 ± 11.7 kg) and those without (7 males and 2 females, age = 29.1 ± 7.5, weight = 68.7 ± 8.8 kg). Paired t tests revealed no differences between runners with and without MMR on measures of V̇O2peak (56.3 ± 9.1 vs. 57.7 ± 4.1 ml · kg-1 · min-1), percent body fat (16.6 ± 8.4 vs. 16.6 ± 3.1), and lower back/hamstring flexibility (33.1 ± 10.9 vs. 28.6 ± 10.1 cm). Knee flexion (KF) and extension (KE) strength were significantly greater in runners without MMR compared to those with MMR (KF peak torque = 65.7 ±7.9 vs. 48.7 ± 15.7 ft/lb; KE peak torque = 138.5 ± 17.7 vs. 104.4 ± 29.9 ft/lb). It was concluded that trained runners with MMR can achieve high levels of physical fitness comparable to individuals without MMR.

Georgia Frey is with Department of Health and Kinesiology at Texas A & M University, College Station, TX 77843. Jeffrey McCubbin and Steve Hannigan-Downs are with the Department of Exercise and Sport Science at Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR 97331. Susan Kasser is with the Department of Physical Education at the University of Vermont, Burlington, VT 05405. Steve Skaggs, deceased, was with the University of Texas, Pan American, Edinburg, TX.

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