Analysis of Physical Activity among Children with Special Educational Needs

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Abstract

Regular physical activity has many general health benefits. People with disabilities have higher rates of physical inactivity and obesity. This study is aimed at describing the level of physical activity of students aged between ten and eighteen years with specific educational support needs (SESN). Among the results, it was found that the practice of physical activity among children with special educational needs was moderate, with lower levels among girls. Most tailored physical activity focused on walking, cycling, and running, and the most popular team sports were soccer and basketball. The highest level of physical activity practice usually occurred during the weekend among boys while girls practice more physical activity during the week. Children with the highest physical activity index were those who suffer from maturational delay, followed by children with ADHD and then ASD. The lowest physical activity practice was found in children who were enrolled in special education centers. It is recommended to design programs that enable families to have a very active attitude, increase awareness of the need for physical activity, and provide appropriate materials and equipment, as well as to incorporate adapted sports in the children’s schools and community environments.