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"Sport Medicine Journal" No.24 - 2010
ARTICLE – abstract


Physical working capacity of 12-17 years old visually impaired boys and girls

Irena Lyudmilova1, Diana Dimitrova2
1Kinesitherapy and Rehabilitation Department, National Sports Academy V. Levski, Sofia, Bulgaria
2 Sports Medicine Department, National Sports Academy V. Levski, Sofia, Bulgaria


Abstract

Cardiorespiratory endurance is an important component of health-related physical fitness .The main factor for improving of aerobic fitness is physical activity. Visually impaired children have lower level of habitual physical activity than their counterparts with normal vision.
The aim of this study was to examine the age- and sex-associated variations of PWC170 of visually impaired children and adolescents. In this study participated 109 blind adolescents (64 boys and 45 girls), pupils at both special schools for visually impaired children in Bulgaria, aged between 12 and 19 years. Physical working capacity (PWC170) was measured in watt, using Monark bicycle as a continuous test with three workloads of 3 min each. Statistical significance between means was tested by Student’s t-test.
PWC170 increased with age in blind boys from 70,7W to 100,5W, but showed statistically insignificant variations between 12 and 19 years in blind girls (from 54,0 W to 60,1 W). There was strong sex difference in favour of boys.
The PWC170 of visually impaired adolescents was about 70% of that of normal adolescents at the same age. When PWC170 was expressed per kilogram of body weight no significant difference was found between age groups, but the differences between both sexes remained significant. The expressing of PWC170 in relative values didn’t change the difference between visually handicapped and sighted boys and girls. The results showed that visually impaired adolescents have considerably lower physical working capacity than sighted adolescents, probably due to their low habitual physical activity. That could negatively impact on their health and well-being.
 
Key words:

visually impaired, adolescents, physical working capacity




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