Effects of Pacing vs. Nonpacing on a One-Mile Walk Test in Adults with Mental Retardation

in Adapted Physical Activity Quarterly
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The purpose was to compare heart rates and completion times of adults with MR after performing a 1-mi walk test with and without a pacer. Fifteen participants (8 males, 7 females) with mild or moderate mental retardation (M age = 38.8 years ± 10.2) performed the test a minimum of two times with a pacer and two times without a pacer. Analysis of variance revealed no significant difference between genders; thus data were combined for further analysis. Intraclass reliability coefficients (R) for walk time with a pacer, walk time without a pacer, heart rate with a pacer, and heart rate without a pacer were .99, .99, .91, and .95, respectively. Results indicated that the average walk times for the pacer and no pacer conditions were significantly different, t (14) = 3.11, p = .008. The pacer condition resulted in a faster average walk time by approximately 1 min; however, there was no significant difference between conditions on heart rate. Therefore, it is recommended that, when having adults with MR perform a walk test, a pacer should be used to assure maximum performance.

Karen Kunde is a member of the faculty at Township High School, Arlington Heights, IL; James H. Rimmer is with the Department of Disability and Human Development at the University of Illinois at Chicago 60608-6904. E-mail: <jrimmer@uic.edu>.

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