Comparison of Physical Activity Levels between Children with and Without Autistic Spectrum Disorders

in Adapted Physical Activity Quarterly
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  • 1 University of New Mexico
  • | 2 Indiana University
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The purpose of this study was to compare daily, physical education, recess, and after school moderate to vigorous physical activity (MVPA) levels between children with and without autistic spectrum disorders (ASD). Children ages 5 to 12 years wore a uniaxial accelerometer for five days (four weekdays, one weekend day). There were no differences between children with and without ASD at any physical activity setting. Both groups were more active during recess compared to after school, and children with ASD were similarly active in recess and physical education. Although many children with ASD acquired 60 min of physical education per day, this may decrease with age as opportunities for recess and physical education are eliminated.

This study was conducted while both authors were affiliated with Texas A&M University, College Station. Dawn Rosser Sandt is now with the Department of Physical Performance and Development at the University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM 87110. Georgia Frey is now with the Department of Kinesiology at Indiana University, Bloomington, IN 47405. E-mail:

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