Effects of a Long-Term Adapted Judo Program on the Health-Related Physical Fitness of Children with ASD

Emanuela Pierantozzi, José Morales, David H. Fukuda, Vanessa Garcia, Antonia M. Gómez, Myriam Guerra-Balic, Eduardo Carballeira

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    1 Citation (Scopus)


    Physical fitness is one of the most important physical and mental health aspects for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). This study aimed to test the effects of a long-term adapted judo program on the health-related physical fitness of children with ASD. The participants were recruited from various associations of families and schools for children with special needs. Twenty-one children were assigned to an experimental group and nineteen to a control group. The experimental group participated in a six-month adapted judo program consisting of 90 min of practice each week. Health-related physical fitness was measured using the indicators obtained from the ALPHA-fitness battery, the estimated VO2max and the waist/height ratio0.5. Changes within and between groups were analyzed using linear mixed models for repeated measures designs and test-retest reliability of tests requiring a maximum score using the Intraclass Correlation Coefficient (ICC). A judo program tailored for children with ASD can improve the cardio-metabolic health and cardiorespiratory fitness of its participants. The problems involved with administering physical aptitude tests that involve maximum effort or performance in children with ASD cast serious doubts on the reproducibility of their results.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article number16731
    JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
    Issue number24
    Publication statusPublished - Dec 2022


    • adapted sports
    • autism
    • combat sports
    • intellectual disabilities
    • non-exercise equation
    • waist circumference


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