The objective of this review was to analyze evidence of the benefits of physical activity for youth with developmental disabilities. Three systematic reviews and 14 studies were reviewed. Strong evidence indicated that children and adolescents with developmental disabilities derive health benefits from participation in group exercise programs, treadmill training, or therapeutic riding/hippotherapy. Lesser levels of evidence indicated that health benefits might be present for adapted skiing or aquatic programs. Documented benefits of physical activity include improvements in aerobic capacity, improved gross motor function, and high levels of participant/parent satisfaction.
Evidence exists that physical activity is beneficial for youth with developmental disabilities.
Am J Health Promot. 2009, 23(3), 157-67