Effect of Indoor Climbing on Occupational Self-Efficacy and Employability: Results of a 10-Month Randomised Controlled Study of Persons with Intellectual Disability

Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2022 Oct 17;19(20):13399. doi: 10.3390/ijerph192013399.


(1) Background: Indoor climbing has different effects at various levels, including physical, psychological, and social ones. It is of high interest to assess whether social skills developed through climbing can be transferred to another environment, such as the working environment. This study investigates the effects of indoor climbing on employability and occupational self-efficacy of people with intellectual disability, who possess lower levels of social competences in general. (2) Methods: A randomised controlled study (RCT) experimental study design with three groups was formed-one intervention (IG) and two control groups (CGI&II). For 10 months, the IG went climbing (two times per week), whereas the first CG followed a sports programme and the second CG served as controls. (3) Results: IG participants showed significant improvement in mental and somatic health over time. Regarding occupational self-efficacy, females had a significantly lower mean. Nevertheless, only the IG's female participants mean increased significantly over time. (4) Conclusions: Indoor climbing can be effective for improving occupational health and can be beneficial for specific groups; however, additional research is needed to further specify the influence of indoor climbing on a wider variety of aspects of the life of people with intellectual disability.

Keywords: RCT; employability; indoor climbing; intellectual disability; occupational self-efficacy.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Female
  • Humans
  • Intellectual Disability*
  • Persons with Mental Disabilities*
  • Research Design
  • Self Efficacy
  • Sports*

Grants and funding

This research was funded by German Social Accident Insurance Institution for the Health and Welfare Services.