An Evaluation of a Fitness Battery and Complementary Fitness Tests for Adults with Intellectual Differences Engaged in Personal Training

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Conference Paper

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Health and Sport Science


Fitness testing for individuals with intellectual differences poses considerable challenges in accurately capturing fitness level due to potential confounding factors such as comprehension of instructions, complexity, motivation, and sustained attention, among others. Therefore, it is imperative that fitness tests are intentionally selected and feasible for the population to complete, reliable across testing days, and sensitive to tracking fitness level changes. The SAMU-DISFIT fitness test battery has been recently proposed for adults with intellectual differences and has shown promising feasibility and reliability, however, it fails to capture fitness components of power and coordination. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the feasibility and reliability of the SAMU-DISFIT fitness tests as well as additional tests of power and coordination (countermovement jump, two-step jump, and hopping in-place) in a population of adults with intellectual differences. Moreover, we aimed to determine the sensitivity of these tests to track changes of fitness level over a 12-week period of personal training. All tests demonstrated feasibility, with only two tests not indicating 100% completion. Three of the fitness tests demonstrated scant reliability with the remaining interpreted as fair to high reliability. Analysis of effect sizes indicated limited sensitivity. These findings support prior evidence of feasibility and high reliability for some of the SAMU-DISFIT fitness tests, as well as evidence for the potential addition of tests for power and coordination. However, alternative tests for the cardiorespiratory and muscular endurance components of fitness may need to be considered and evaluated for this population.


fitness, intellectual differences


Exercise Science


Presentation: 1 p.m. Friday, April 22, 2022

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