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The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of a school-based cardiovascular-fitness-training program in children with mental retardation (MR). Thirty boys (8−15 years old) with mild to moderate mental retardation were randomly divided into 2 groups—experimental (EX) and control (CN). The EX group underwent 10 weeks of training 3 times/week for a duration of 1 hr/session at 60-80% peak heart rate. At Week 10, significant increases in 20-m shuttle-run-test (20-MST) laps were observed for the EX group. No improvements were found in percent body fat. No changes were observed for the CN. The school-based training program might prove useful in improving the cardiovascular fitness of children with MR.
Ozmen and Yildirim are with the School of Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation, and Yuktasir is with the School of Physical Education and Health, Abant Izzet Baysal University, 14280 Bolu, Turkey. Beets is with the Dept. of Public Health, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR 97331.