Physical activity during school and after school among youth with and without intellectual disability

Ingiór T. Einarsson*, Erlingur Jóhannsson, Daniel Daly, Sigurbjörn Árni Arngrímsson

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Little is known about physical activity (PA) among children with intellectual disability (ID) or their reasons to take part in PA and sport. Aims: To investigate PA and PA patterns during school and after school among Icelandic children with mild-to-severe ID. Methods and procedures: Ninety-one children with ID and a matched group of 93 typically developed individuals (TDI) took part. PA was assessed with accelerometers and a questionnaire was used to collect data on PA behavior. Results and outcomes: TDI children were more active and less sedentary than children with ID (p < 0.001). Both sexes with ID were more active and less sedentary during school than after school (p < 0.003) but no difference was found among TDI children. Children with ID (60%) were more likely to name weight loss as a reason to participate in PA than TDI children (34%, p = 0.002) but a higher proportion (96%) of TDI children than children with ID (50%) participated in PA to improve skills (p < 0.001). Conclusion and implications: Children with ID depend more on schools to accumulate their PA and their reasons for PA participation differ from TDI children. This needs to be considered when designing and implementing PA promotion campaigns for children with ID.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)60-70
Number of pages11
JournalResearch in Developmental Disabilities
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2016

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 Elsevier Ltd.

Other keywords

  • Accelerometer
  • Adolescent
  • Children
  • Sex
  • Sport participation


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