‘Walk Buds’: A walking intervention to increase physical activity, physical fitness, and emotional wellbeing, in 9–13 year old children with intellectual disabilities. Results of a clustered randomised feasibility trial

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Abstract

BACKGROUND: Children with intellectual disability are less physically active and more sedentary than typically developing peers. To date no studies have tested the feasibility of a school-based walking intervention for children with Intellectual Disability.

METHOD: A clustered randomised controlled trial (cRCT), with an embedded process evaluation, was used to test the feasibility of a school-based walking intervention. Eight schools (n = 161 pupils aged 9-13 years) were randomised into either an intervention arm or an 'exercise as usual' arm. Measures included physical activity, physical fitness and emotional wellbeing. Baseline and 3-month follow-up data were collected.

RESULTS: The 'Walk Buds' intervention was found to be acceptable to teaching staff and pupils, with an uptake rate of the walking sessions offered of 84%.

CONCLUSION: A number of challenges were experienced, relating to the COVID-19 pandemic, and difficulties collecting accelerometer data. Barriers, facilitators and required changes identified through the mixed methods process evaluation are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere13260
Pages (from-to)e13260
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Applied Research in Intellectual Disabilities
Volume37
Issue number5
Early online date27 Jun 2024
DOIs
Publication statusPublished online - 27 Jun 2024

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2024 The Author(s). Journal of Applied Research in Intellectual Disabilities published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

Keywords

  • clustered RCT
  • Feasibility
  • Fidelity
  • intellectual disability
  • school-based
  • walking intervention
  • Physical Fitness/physiology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mental Health
  • Intellectual Disability/rehabilitation
  • Feasibility Studies
  • COVID-19
  • Walking/physiology
  • Exercise
  • Adolescent
  • Female
  • School Health Services
  • Child
  • fidelity
  • school‐based
  • feasibility

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