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Walking Activity, Body Composition and Blood Pressure in Adults with Intellectual Disabilities

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Individuals with intellectual disabilities engage in limited physical activity which places their health at risk. This study examined the walking activity, body composition and blood pressure of adults with intellectual disabilities. Methods 

A group of male and female adults (n = 103) wore a pedometer for 7 days and were categorized into walking levels based on step counts. Measures of health variables were also taken. Results 

Mean blood pressure was 126/82 mmHg and 125/79 mmHg for males and females, respectively. Approximately 80% of the sample was overweight or obese. Most participants accumulated 5000–7999 steps/day while the fewest accumulated >10 000 steps/day. Individuals who walked more did not have significantly lower blood pressure or healthier body composition. Conclusion 

The intensity of walking may have been inadequate for individuals in the higher walking levels to achieve health benefits. Furthermore, intake of high-fat food may have contributed to blood pressure and body composition and countered the benefits of walking.
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Keywords: blood pressure; body composition; mental retardation; physical activity; walking

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Exercise Science and Physical Education, University of Massachusetts Boston, Boston, MA, USA and 2: Department of Exercise and Sport Science, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR, USA

Publication date: May 1, 2007

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