A pilot survey of physical activity in men with an intellectual disability

Michael McKeon, Eamonn Slevin, Laurence Taggart

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Citations (Scopus)


People with intellectual disability are reported as a sedentary population with increased risks of poor health due to an inactive and sedentary lifestyle. As the benefits of physical activity are acknowledged, measuring physical activity accurately is important to help identify reasons for low and high physical activity in order to assist and maintain recommended levels for optimal health. This paper reports a pilot study undertaken to validate the use of a physical activity monitor (Sensewear Armband) and the International Physical Activity Questionnaire (IPAQ) as instruments for measuring and exploring physical activity of men with intellectual disability. The design was a one group descriptive study and data were collected over a 7 day period from 17 men with intellectual disabilities. The Sensewear Armband enabled continuous and long-term measurement of 14 objective physical activity metrics. The IPAQ examined details of physical activity reported over the 7 days. Equivalent results were found in both instruments indicating a positive correlation between the Sensewear Armband and the IPAQ. The results show 50% of the participants have low activity levels and the national recommended physical activity levels been achieved at a very low active intensity. No sustainable high physical activity intensity levels were recorded. The results confirmed the Sensewear Armband and the IPAQ as a practical means of measuring and understanding physical activity levels of men with intellectual disability.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)157 -167
JournalJournal of Intellectual Disabilities
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - Jun 2013


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