Physical Fitness and Physical Activity in Adolescents With Asperger Syndrome: A Comparative Study

in Adapted Physical Activity Quarterly

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Erwin BorremansKeskuspuisto Vocational Institute

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Pauli RintalaUniversity of Jyväskylä

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Jeffrey A. McCubbinOregon State University

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While physical activity is beneficial for youth with developmental disabilities, little is known about those individuals’ fitness profile and levels of activity. Therefore the purpose of this study was to investigate the physical fitness profile and physical activity level of 30 adolescents with and without Asperger syndrome (AS). Evaluations were done using the Eurofit physical fitness test and the Baecke Habitual Physical Activity questionnaire. A 2 × 2 MANOVA indicated that adolescents with AS scored significantly lower than the comparison group on all physical fitness subtests, including balance, coordination, flexibility, muscular strength, running speed, and cardio-respiratory endurance (p < .001). Adolescents with AS were also less physically active (p < .001). Engagement in physical activities is therefore recommended.

Erwin Borremans is with Keskuspuisto Vocational Institute in Helsinki, Finland. Pauli Rintala is with the University of Jyväskylä in Jyväskylä, Finland. Jeffrey A. McCubbin is with the College of Health and Human Sciences at Oregon State University in Corvallis, USA.

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