Factors associated with meeting physical activity guidelines by adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities

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26 Scopus citations


Background Many individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) have sedentary lifestyles. Aims (a) compare adults with IDD with the general adult population on adherence to U.S. physical activity (PA) guidelines, and (b) determine what factors predict adherence to PA guidelines by adults with IDD. Methods We compared adults with IDD from the 2011–2012 National Core Indicators Adult Consumer Survey (NCI-ACS) with the general U.S. population on meeting PA guidelines. We examined the association of demographic, diagnostic, mobility, health and community participation variables with meeting PA guidelines by adults with IDD. Results The rate for adults with IDD meeting PA guidelines (13.5%) was less than half that of the general population (30.8%). Among adults with IDD, at-risk groups included those with more severe disability, Down syndrome, mobility impairments, obesity, poor health, mental illness, no independent access to community exercise, and less frequent participation in community exercise. Going out for exercise was the only form of community participation associated with meeting PA guidelines. People who accessed the community for exercise independently (i.e., alone) were more likely to meet PA guidelines. Conclusions Interventions aimed at increasing PA for people with IDD should consider these factors in their design.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-14
Number of pages14
JournalResearch in Developmental Disabilities
StatePublished - Mar 1 2017

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This manuscript is supported by Cooperative Agreement #90RT5019 and grant #90IF0031 from the National Institute on Disability Independent Living and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 Elsevier Ltd

Copyright 2017 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


  • Community living
  • Community participation
  • Exercise
  • Intellectual disabilities
  • National core indicators
  • NCI
  • Physical activity


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