Date of Graduation
The purpose of the study was to evaluate the physiological effects of a 12 week program of low-impact aerobic dance on adults with mental retardation. Twenty-seven participants were involved in the study and were non-randomly divided into an experimental group (N = 15; 8 male, 7 female) that participated in the exercise program, and a control group (N = 12; 7 male, 5 female) which went about their normal daily activities. The exercise program consisted of a 12-week, progressive, low-impact program of aerobic dance. Each participant underwent a series of field tests to evaluate physical fitness. The tests included the Rockport Fitness Walking Test to determine cardiovascular fitness, the Kelly-Rimmer equation for the estimation of body fat, and the Prudential FITNESSGRAM sit and reach test to determine flexibility. The participants also completed an enjoyment of exercise questionnaire at the close of each exercise session. The fitness tests were performed as a pre-test, at the four-week point, the eight-week point, and as a post-test at 12 weeks, and, again at 18 weeks. A total of four 2 x 5 repeated measures ANOVAs were utilized to determine differences between the control and experimental groups on the dependent variables. Post-hoc tests followed each significant ANOVA to detect specific within-group differences between time points. Analysis revealed that there were significant interactions between the groups on all of the dependent variables. The experimental group improved on all dependent variables, while the control group declined or stayed the same. Post-hoc analysis of within-group differences indicated that four to eight weeks was when the greatest improvements in the fitness scores of the experimental group took place. The eight to 12-week period appeared to be a time of maintenance. Pearson Correlation Coefficients were also utilized to determine relationships between the participants working heart rates during the exercise sessions and scores on the dependent variables. Moderately strong correlations were found on three of the variables (RFWT times, body composition, and flexibility), but not on the other (post-walk heart rate). A follow-up set of fitness tests was performed six weeks after the conclusion of the program. The participants in the experimental group declined in all of the dependent variables. It was also revealed that the participants found the program to be very enjoyable, and were exceptionally eager to be involved.
Cluphf, David John, "The physiological effects of a 12 -week program of progressive low -impact aerobic dance on adults with mental retardation." (1999). Graduate Theses, Dissertations, and Problem Reports. 8647.