Effects of Extracurricular Physical Activity on Strength, Balance, Endurance and Quality of Life on Children with Disabilities

Document Type

Conference Paper

Publication Date



Physical Therapy


Purpose/Hypothesis: The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of extracurricular physical activity on strength, balance, endurance and quality of life on atypical children.

Subjects: 18 children (10 males, 8 females) ranging from 11-18 years old completed the study through a local Inclusive Kickball Program. Diagnoses included Down Syndrome, ASD, Asbergers, and Developmental Delay.

Materials/Methods: Children participated in 60-minute kickball sessions led by a program director, 1 time per week for 6 weeks. The Pediatric Quality of Life Measure (PedsQL), Pediatric Balance Scale (PBS) and 30-Second Walk Test were administered at baseline and 6 weeks. Control data is underway but was interrupted by the pandemic.

Results: 18 children completed the 6 week kickball intervention. Significant differences were found between the pre and post distance data for the 30-Second Walk Test (p = .028) as well as the PBS (p = .009). No significant differences were found between pre and post data for the PedsQL (p = .445). There was no change among the controls when comparing pre and post data for the PedsQL and PBS.

Conclusions: The kickball league was beneficial in improving both endurance and balance. No improvements were seen in quality of life. Peer interaction activities may be helpful in future studies to address quality of life.

Clinical Relevance: Extracurricular programs such as a kickball league that involves running and balancing activities may be advantageous to improving functional mobility in children with disabilities.


children with disabilities, extracurricular activity, quality of life, physical activity, adaptive


Physical Therapy | Recreational Therapy


Presentation: 2:20 p.m. Friday, April 23, 2021

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