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The impact of physical exercises on the quality of life of persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities

Manica Pisek (2013) The impact of physical exercises on the quality of life of persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities. MSc thesis.

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    Abstract

    The central question of this thesis focuses on the influence of regular programmed physical exercise on the quality of life of young and adult individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities and the consequential improvement of their motor skills and greater subjective life satisfaction. Motor skills play a decisive role in any individual's motor efficiency, which conditions the execution of various motor tasks (Šturm, & Strojnik, 1994), and therefore influences importantly the execution of daily chores. The improvement of motor skills signifies an increase in independence, general productivity and health improvement, which is invaluable for individuals with moderate intellectual and developmental disabilities, leading to greater independence from the assistance of other adult individuals. Life satisfaction is also considered an important criterion for determining the quality of life of every individual. 30 individuals with moderate intellectual and developmental disabilities over 18 years of age, male and female, participated in the research. 15 of the said individuals actively participated in the programmed physical exercise programme while the remaining 15 participated as a control group and were not included in the regular physical exercise programme. The active exercise programme extended over a three-month period and was executed once a week under professional guidance and independently during the rest of each week, with the guidance and encouragement of parents or educators in regard to the recommended motor skill development exercises, with an emphasis on mobility, speed, strength and coordination. Physical characteristics and motor skills were measured twice - with modified physical education forms with individuals in the experimental (attendants of regular physical exercise sessions) and the control group (not included in the physical exercise programme). Individuals from both groups also answered the life satisfaction questionnaire twice – prior to the commencement of participation in the exercise programme and after the conclusion of the afore-mentioned three month period. After three months of regular physical exercise, the analysed results of the motor skills test showed a significant, statistically relevant improvement in strength, coordination, speed and mobility in the members of the experimental group in comparison with the control group members. Analysing life satisfaction in the control members failed to confirm a statistically significant difference between life satisfaction before and after the experiment, while the results in the experimental group showed a statistically relevant improvement. We were able to confirm a positive impact of physical exercise on life satisfaction. Additionally, a research in sports preferences and an assessment of general state were performed. Sports preferences are an indicator of the level of interest for individual sporting activities. Result analysis showed that individuals with moderate intellectual and developmental disabilities are more inclined to individual rather than collective sporting activities, and also pointed out those sporting activities the participants would like to be included in, and possibilities for their inclusion should be made available. The topic presented broadens introspection in the field of special and rehabilitation pedagogy in the sense of preventative rehabilitation of individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. It points to the influence of regular physical exercise on the overall quality of life of this specific group, particularly concerning the improvement of their motor skills such as mobility, strength, coordination, speed and general wellbeing. Since individuals with moderate intellectual and developmental disabilities also require guidance in adulthood, the practical applicability of this research lies in the positive effect of encouragement in the immediate living environment of such individuals as well as society in general and competent institutions, to facilitate the conditions for regular adapted motor/sporting activities and provide positive encouragement for participation in such activities.

    Item Type: Thesis (MSc thesis)
    Keywords: individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities, adapted physical exercise, motor skills, life satisfaction, motor/sporting activities
    Number of Pages: 181
    Language of Content: Slovenian
    Mentor / Comentors:
    Mentor / ComentorsIDFunction
    izr. prof. dr. Rajko VuteMentor
    doc. dr. Anita Goltnik UrnautComentor
    Link to COBISS: http://www.cobiss.si/scripts/cobiss?command=search&base=50126&select=(ID=9671753)
    Institution: University of Ljubljana
    Department: Faculty of Education
    Item ID: 1560
    Date Deposited: 27 Jun 2013 08:04
    Last Modified: 27 Jun 2013 08:04
    URI: http://pefprints.pef.uni-lj.si/id/eprint/1560

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