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Phillip C. Usera, John T. Foley and Joonkoo Yun

The purpose of this study was to cross-validate skinfold and anthropometric measurements for individuals with Down syndrome (DS). Estimated body fat of 14 individuals with DS and 13 individuals without DS was compared between criterion measurement (BOP POD®) and three prediction equations. Correlations between criterion and field-based tests for non-DS group and DS groups ranged from .81 – .94 and .11 – .54, respectively. Root-Mean-Squared-Error was employed to examine the amount of error on the field-based measurements. A MANOVA indicated significant differences in accuracy between groups for Jackson’s equation and Lohman’s equation. Based on the results, efforts should now be directed toward developing new equations that can assess the body composition of individuals with DS in a clinically feasible way.

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Jaehun Jung, Willie Leung, Bridgette Marie Schram and Joonkoo Yun

The purpose of this study was to explore the current levels of physical activity among youth with disabilities using meta-analysis. The search identified 11 publications including 729 participants (age 4–20 yr). The overall effect size for 11 studies was Hedges g = 0.60 (SE = 0.18, 95% confidence interval [CI] [0.24, 0.96], p < .05, k = 11) using a random-effects model. The findings suggest that differences in physical activity levels between youth with and without disabilities are complex. Results indicated that youth without disabilities engaged in higher levels of physical activity of moderate to vigorous intensity (g = 0.66, SE = 0.18, p < .05). However, no differences were found in light-intensity physical activity (g = −0.03, SE = 0.16, p > .85). Results also suggested that the differences in physical activity between youth with and without disabilities were affected by age (<12 yr, g = 0.83, SE = 0.24, 95% CI [0.37, 1.29], p < .05, and >13 yr, g = 0.37, SE = 0.10, 95% CI [0.18, 0.57], p < .05; Q value = 3.20, df = 1, p < .05), with children with disabilities engaging in less physical activity than children without disabilities in younger ages. Differences in physical activity level between youth with and without disabilities are functions of intensity of physical activity and age but may not be of type of disability (Q value = 0.22, df = 1, p > .6).

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Stamatis Agiovlasitis, Joonkoo Yun, Jooyeon Jin, Jeffrey A. McCubbin and Robert W. Motl

This paper examines the need for interdisciplinary knowledge in the formation of public health models for health-promoting physical activity (PA) for people experiencing disability. PA promotion for people experiencing disability is a multifaceted endeavor and requires navigating a multitude of complicated and interactive factors. Both disability and health are multifaceted constructs and the relationship between PA and health is embedded within a complicated web of interactive influences. PA promotion must consider interacting biological and psychosocial factors within the person and in the sociopolitical environment. Models for research and practice need to evolve from value and belief systems that center on people experiencing disability without stigmatizing them. We argue that interdisciplinary research and practice is needed in navigating the intricacies of PA promotion toward improving the health of people experiencing disability and facilitating inclusion, empowerment, and dignity.

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Stamatis Agiovlasitis, Jeffrey A. McCubbin, Joonkoo Yun, Michael J. Pavol and Jeffrey J. Widrick

This study examined whether the net rate of oxygen uptake (VO2net) and the net oxygen uptake per kilometer (VO2net/km) are affected during walking in adults with Down syndrome (DS) and whether their preferred walking speed (PWS) minimizes the VO2net/km. Respiratory gases were collected as 14 adults with DS and 15 adults without DS completed a series of treadmill walking trials. PWS was measured over 15 meters in a hallway. The VO2net and the VO2net/km were higher in adults with DS than adults without DS. The overground PWS normalized for leg length was the same for both groups and did not appear to minimize the VO2net/km. Thus, adults with DS are less economical during walking than adults without DS. The overground PWS does not minimize the metabolic cost during treadmill walking.