Physical Activity and Physical Fitness of Adults with Intellectual Disabilities in Group Homes in Hong Kong

Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2018 Jun 29;15(7):1370. doi: 10.3390/ijerph15071370.


Adults with intellectual disabilities (ID) typically have a sedentary lifestyle and higher rates of overweight and obesity. This study describes the habitual daily physical activity (PA) and the health-related physical fitness (PF) of adults with mild and moderate ID who resided in four group homes and worked in sheltered workshops. We also assessed the contribution of PF variables towards PA levels and sedentary behavior of this population subgroup. Adults with mild and moderate ID (N = 114) were assessed on PF tests (percent body fat, waist and hip circumferences, 6-min walk (6MWT), arm curl, and sit and reach). PA and sedentary behavior on weekdays were determined using Actigraph accelerometers. Results showed these adults averaged 2% of their daily time (or 10 min) engaged in moderate-to-vigorous PA (MVPA) and 67% of the time (495 min) being sedentary. No significant differences between mild and moderate ID were found for any PA or PF variable. Linear multiple regression analyses showed 6MWT to be the only significant PF variable contributing to the variance of PA and sedentary behavior. In conclusion, adults with ID reside in group home have low PA and low fitness levels. Among fitness variables, the walking test (i.e., cardiovascular fitness) had the highest positive association with participants’ daily PA, MVPA, and negative association with sedentary behavior. Future intervention studies in promoting PA and fitness for adults with ID are warranted.

Keywords: adults; group home; intellectual disabilities; physical activity; physical fitness.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Exercise*
  • Female
  • Group Homes*
  • Hong Kong
  • Humans
  • Intellectual Disability*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Overweight
  • Physical Fitness*