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Bo Fernhall, Garth T. Tymeson and Gail E. Webster

This manuscript critically reviews the literature on cardiovascular fitness (CVF) and the mentally retarded (MR) individual. For the purposes of this review, no distinction is made between maximal aerobic capacity, maximal physical work capacity, CVF, and cardiovascular endurance. Several large-scale field studies have been conducted with MR children, and all have generally found low CVF levels for this group. However, these field tests have not been validated with MR individuals, thus this conclusion may be incorrect. Smaller field studies with MR adults and adolescents show similar results, but also exhibit the same problem of nonvalidation of the field tests used. Better evidence for low levels of CVF is exhibited through several well conducted laboratory studies, with measurements of V̇O2 max. In general, MR individuals, regardless of age, possess CVF levels 20-40% below those of their nonretarded peers. It is hypothesized that this is due to inactivity, but there still is the possibility of a retardation-dependent physiological difference. MR children and adults appear to respond in a normal manner to CVF training, but the threshold of training required is undetermined. MR adolescents have not shown reliable increases in CVF with training, although it is not known why. Several suggestions are made regarding the need for future research.

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Lena Hübner, Solveig Vieluf, Ben Godde and Claudia Voelcker-Rehage

efficacy; and changes on a system level (i.e., changes in brain organization), like higher activity and volume in motor-related brain areas (see Lehmann & Taubert, 2018 for an extensive overview). Studies on the association between cardiovascular fitness and fine motor performance revealed heterogeneous

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Christine Seidl, Greg Reid and David L. Montgomery

Recently there has been a plethora of research investigating various dimensions of the cardiovascular fitness of mentally retarded persons. It is clearly documented that as a group, mentally retarded persons are particularly low in aerobic fitness. Although there is evidence that such low cardiovascular functioning can be increased, exercise training studies have invariably ignored the important questions of reliability and validity of the dependent measures. Also, there are innumerable testing protocols that make cross-study comparisons tenuous. Several factors are fundamental to the reliability and validity of standardized protocols that have recently been used with retarded persons. These include underlying assumptions of cadence adherence, constant efficiency, learning, and motivation to perform optimally. The development of cardiovascular test protocols for use with retarded persons is necessary to provide for their immediate and future needs in cardiovascular fitness evaluation.

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Zan Gao, Ken R. Lodewyk and Tao Zhang

This study uncovers the predictive relationship of middle school students’ ability beliefs (self-efficacy and expectancy-related beliefs) and incentives (outcome expectancy, importance, interest, and usefulness) to intention, cardiovascular fitness, and teacher-rated effort in physical education. Participants (N = 252; 118 boys, 134 girls) completed questionnaires assessing their ability beliefs, incentives, and intention for future participation in physical education, and then had their cardiovascular fitness assessed with the Progressive Aerobic Cardiovascular Endurance Run (PACER) test. Students’ effort in class was rated by their respective physical education teachers. Correlation analysis yielded significantly positive relationships between ability beliefs and incentives. Regression results revealed that ability beliefs, importance, interest, and usefulness significantly predicted intention for future participation. Ability beliefs also emerged as significant predictors of PACER test scores whereas self-efficacy was the only predictor of teacher-rated effort. Implications for educational practice are discussed.

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Tarik Ozmen, Necmiye Un Yildirim, Bekir Yuktasir and Michael W. Beets

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.

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James H. Rimmer

During the last 15 years a growing number of persons with mental retardation (MR) have been relocated from large congregate facilities to residences in the community. With this trend comes the realization that exercise specialists employed in community based fitness centers will have to address the needs of a growing number of adults with MR who are beginning to access these facilities. Since adults with MR present themselves as a unique group in terms of their cognitive and physical function, this paper will address specific exercise guidelines that must be considered when developing cardiovascular fitness programs for this population.

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Bo Fernhall and Garth T. Tymeson

This study evaluated the concurrent validity of the 300-yard and the 1.5-mile run with a group of mildly mentally retarded (MR) adults. The subjects, 15 healthy MR adults (M age = 29.5 + 5.6 yrs, M IQ = 60), underwent a maximal treadmill test utilizing a walking protocol, with heart rate and oxygen consumption data collected every minute. They also completed a 300-yard and a 1.5-mile run. The order of testing was counterbalanced. The results indicated that these subjects exhibited very poor cardiovascular fitness levels, with a mean V̇O2max of 28.1 ml•kg-1•min-1 and mean run times of 98.9 sec and 21.1 min for the 300-yard and the 1.5-mile runs, respectively. The correlation between V̇O2max and the 1.5-mile run was –.88, and the correlation for the 300-yard run and V̇O2max was –.71. However, partial correlations indicated that when the effect of height and weight were held constant, only the correlation between V̇O2max and the 1.5-mile run remained significant whereas that between V̇O2max and the 300-yard run dropped. Consequently, the 1.5-mile run appears to be a valid indicator of cardiovascular fitness for these adults with MR, but the 300 yard run is not.

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Richard Larouche, Travis John Saunders, Guy Edward John Faulkner, Rachel Colley and Mark Tremblay

Background:

The impact of active school transport (AST) on daily physical activity (PA) levels, body composition and cardiovascular fitness remains unclear.

Methods:

A systematic review was conducted to examine differences in PA, body composition and cardiovascular fitness between active and passive travelers. The Medline, PubMed, Embase, PsycInfo, and ProQuest databases were searched and 10 key informants were consulted. Quality of evidence was assessed with GRADE and with the Effective Public Health Practice Project tool for quantitative studies.

Results:

Sixty-eight different studies met the inclusion criteria. The majority of studies found that active school travelers were more active or that AST interventions lead to increases in PA, and the quality of evidence is moderate. There is conflicting, and therefore very low quality evidence, regarding the associations between AST and body composition indicators, and between walking to/from school and cardiovascular fitness; however, all studies with relevant measures found a positive association between cycling to/from school and cardiovascular fitness; this evidence is of moderate quality.

Conclusion:

These findings suggest that AST should be promoted to increase PA levels in children and adolescents and that cycling to/from school is associated with increased cardiovascular fitness. Intervention studies are needed to increase the quality of evidence.

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Marsha Cressler, Barry Lavay and Mark Giese

The purpose of this investigation was to determine the test-retest reliability of four submaximum oxygen uptake (VO2) test protocols: (a) Modified Physical Working Capacity Cycle Ergometry, (b) Balke Ware Treadmill, (c) Canadian Step Test, and (d) Cooper Twelve-Minute Run/Walk in predicting the cardiovascular fitness of adults who were mentally retarded. The subjects worked in a sheltered workshop setting (N=17, M age=35 years, M IQ=54). The four submaximal VO2 tests were administered over eight sessions with test–retest reliability scores determined by administering each protocol separately and 1 week apart. An intraclass correlation coefficient revealed the following scores on each of the four protocols: Modified PWC Cycle Ergometry, R=.64; Balke Ware Treadmill, R=.93; Canadian Step Test, R=.95; Cooper Twelve-Minute Run/Walk, R=.81. Discussion includes considerations for administering predictor VO2 tests with persons who are mentally retarded. In this particular investigation the Balke Ware Treadmill Test (R=.93) and the Canadian Step Test (R=.95) revealed the highest reliability scores.

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Anna K. Porter, Krystin J. Matthews, Deborah Salvo and Harold W. Kohl III

Background:

Most US adolescents do not meet guidelines of at least 60 daily minutes of moderate- to vigorous-intensity physical activity. In addition, sedentary behaviors among this age group are of increasing concern. This study examined the association of movement behaviors with cardiovascular fitness among US adolescents.

Methods:

Data from the 2012 NHANES National Youth Fitness Survey were used to assess the association of movement behaviors (physical activity, sedentary time, screen time) with cardiovascular fitness among adolescent males and females. Multiple logistic regressions were used to test the independent and interactive effects of movement behaviors on cardiovascular fitness.

Results:

Among females, physical activity was directly associated with cardiovascular fitness; no significant association was observed between sedentary behaviors and CVF. Among males, sedentary time moderated the relationship between physical activity and cardiovascular fitness, such that a significant, direct association was only observed among those with high sedentary time (OR: 5.01; 95% CI: 1.60, 15.70).

Conclusions:

Results from this cross-sectional analysis suggest that among female US adolescents, physical activity, but not sedentary behavior, is associated with cardiovascular fitness. Among males, the interaction between physical activity and sedentary time seems to be important for cardiovascular fitness. Longitudinal studies are warranted to confirm these findings.