Low Levels of Physical Activity and Sedentary Behavior in Adults with Intellectual Disabilities

Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(12), 1503; doi:10.3390/ijerph14121503

Kelly Hsieh 1,* , Thessa I. M. Hilgenkamp 2, Sumithra Murthy 1, Tamar Heller 1 and James H. Rimmer 3
1 Department of Disability and Human Development, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, IL 60609, USA
2 Department of Kinesiology and Nutrition, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, IL 60612, USA
3 School of Health Professions, University of Alabama at Birmingham, SHPB 331, Birmingham, AL 35294, USA

The paper has been published online: http://www.mdpi.com/1660-4601/14/12/1503

Adults with intellectual disabilities (ID) are more likely to lead sedentary lifestyles and have low levels of physical activity (LLPA). The present study investigated the prevalence of reported LLPA and time spent watching TV in adults with ID and identified the associated factors for these behaviors. The proxy informants of 1618 adults with ID completed the surveys regarding their health behaviors. Multiple logistic regressions were employed for LLPA and multiple linear regressions for time spent watching TV. About 60% of adults with ID had LLPA and average time spent watching TV was 3.4 h a day. Some characteristics and health and function variables were identified as associated factors. While engaging in community activities and involvement in Special Olympics were inversely associated with LLPA, they were not associated with time spent watching TV. Attending day/educational programs or being employed were associated with spending less time watching TV. Findings highlight differential factors associated with LLPA versus TV-watching behavior in adults with ID. Hence, a key strategy aimed at increasing physical activity includes promoting participation in social and community activities, while targeted activities for reducing sedentary behavior might focus on providing day programs or employment opportunities for adults with ID.

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