The doctoral defence of Ingi Þór Einarsson will be 20th Apríl at 1 pm in The University´s Aula, main building
Children and adolescents in Iceland and biggest part of the western world have been increasing their adiposity and decreasing their physical activity over the past decades. Although studies from other countries indicate that children with intellectual disability (ID) have a high prevalence of overweight and obesity, little is known about disabled children in Iceland in this context.
The main aims of this study were to investigate physical activity, fitness, adiposity, and reasons to take part in sport and physical activity among children with ID. Nearly 100 children and adolescents with ID took part in this study as well as 100 typically developed individuals (TDI) at the same age.
Results showed that Icelandic children with ID are more likely to be overweight and obese, to have higher blood pressure and waist circumference than their TDI peers. They also had lower aerobic fitness and had less physical activity. No children with ID reached recommended time of moderate- to vigorous physical activity during the day. Children with ID also accumulated more of their physical activity during school hours and were less sedentary during that time of the day than after school hours. Opposite pattern was observed among TDI children.
The two groups named different reasons to take part in sport and physical activity, where children with ID were much less competitively driven but more concerned about their body fat than TDI children. Further, children with ID and their families were less aware of the importance of physical activity because many of them considered their physical activity to be sufficient even though very few even came close.