Objective: To investigate, using accelerometers, the levels of physical activity being undertaken by individuals with intellectual disabilities with and without Down's syndrome. Methods: One hundred and fifty two individuals with intellectual disabilities aged 12-70 years from East and South-East England. Physical activity levels in counts per minute (counts/min), steps per day (steps/day), and minutes of sedentary, light, moderate, vigorous, and moderate to vigorous physical activity (MVPA) measured with a uni-axial accelerometer (Actigraph GT1M) for seven days. Results: No individuals with intellectual disabilities met current physical activity recommendations. Males were more active than females. There was a trend for physical activity to decline and sedentary behaviour to increase with age, and for those with more severe levels of intellectual disability to be more sedentary and less physically active, however any relationship was not significant when adjusted for confounding variables. Participants with Down's syndrome engaged in significantly less physical activity than those with intellectual disabilities without Down's syndrome and levels of activity declined significantly with age. Conclusions: Individuals with intellectual disabilities, especially those with Down's syndrome may be at risk of developing diseases associated with physical inactivity. There is a need for well-designed, accessible, preventive health promotion strategies and interventions designed to raise the levels of physical activity for individuals with intellectual disabilities. We propose that there are physiological reasons why individuals with Down's syndrome have particularly low levels of physical activity that also decline markedly with age. © 2011 Phillips, Holland.
Phillips, A. C., & Holland, A. J. (2011). Assessment of objectively measured physical activity levels in individuals with intellectual disabilities with and without Down’s syndrome. PLoS ONE, 6(12). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0028618