Development of physical fitness of pupils with mental retardation

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Wyznikiewicz-Nawracala A.

The purpose of this study was to evaluate the development of physical fitness during a four year program consisting of one weekly swimming lesson and two hours of PE classes. Mentally retarded boys from a special school (grades 3-7) were investigated using the EUROFIT. The psychological control shows that 59% of the pupils are mildly retarded and 41% moderately. The analysis of variance was used for determination of differences between mild and moderate mentally retarded age groups. EUROFIT results show a trend of progression with the process of growing up, but the level of moderately retarded groups is statistically significantly lower at all age ranges (p<0.001), with the exception of results in sit and reach and sit-ups tests. A comparison of average values obtained in separate tests to the average level of boys without mental retardation show that the level of mentally mildly retarded boys approximated successively during school period to average achievements of boys without mental retardation. It concerns especially these test items which include static strength as well as arm and shoulder muscular endurance. The results of this study focus attention on children and youth with mentally moderate retardation. They indicate that the overall physical capacity of children and adolescents with moderate retardation are dramatically inferior to their peers with mild retardation.
Key words
mental retardation, physical fitness, EUROFIT

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