Fitness and Physical Activity
Research has also shown that people with ID have low levels of cardiovascular fitness. A lack of cardiovascular endurance may mean that the individual is unable to work for long periods of time or participate in physical activities without becoming fatigued. It is also well established that individuals with ID have lower than normal muscular strength and endurance. Individuals with ID also exhibit less arm and leg strength than non-disabled adults, and that individuals with Down Syndrome have the lowest strength of all groups.
Habitual physical activity is missing in the lives of most people with ID. People with intellectual disabilities tend have a sedentary lifestyle and do not adequately exercise; this has a potentially detrimental effect on their health and well-being. A recent study on barriers to physical activity for adults with ID found that lack of support and guidance coupled with negative expectations on the part of caregivers who actually promoted sedentary behavior were especially critical. It was also found that these factors could be improved by educating care providers on the importance of encouraging and supporting more active lifestyles.