Comparison of Daily Life Physical Activity Between Trained and Non-Trained Individuals with Down Syndrome


  • Ana Querido N2i, Polytechnic Institute of Maia
  • Mário J. Costa Centre of Research, Education, Innovation and Intervention in Sport, CIFI2D, Faculty of Sport, University of Porto, 4200-450 Porto, Portugal
  • André Seabra Research Centre in Physical Activity, Health and Leisure, CIAFEL, Faculty of Sport, University of Porto, 4200-450 Porto, Portugal
  • João P. Vilas-Boas Porto Biomechanics Laboratory, LABIOMEP-UP, Faculty of Sport, University of Porto, 4200-450 Porto, Portugal
  • Rui Corredeira Research Centre in Physical Activity, Health and Leisure, CIAFEL, Faculty of Sport, University of Porto, 4200-450 Porto, Portugal
  • Daniel J. Daly Faculty of Movement and Rehabilitation Sciences, Katholiek Universiteit Leuven, 3001 Leuven, Belgium
  • Ricardo J. Fernandes Centre of Research, Education, Innovation and Intervention in Sport, CIFI2D, Faculty of Sport, University of Porto, 4200-450 Porto, Portugal



intellectual disability; body composition; lower limb activity; sport participation


Physical activity and sports practice plays an important role in maintaining health, well-being, and quality of life. As related concepts, those are not well studied in persons with disabilities, particularly with intellectual disability or Down syndrome. This study aimed to assess the daily life physical activity levels of competitive persons with Down syndrome and to compare those with active and untrained individuals with the same condition. Twenty participants were allocated to international competitive (N=8; 25.8±7.4 years), recreational (N=6; 22.0±4.3 years) and untrained (N=6; 24.0±7.4 years) groups. The daily physical activity was assessed with a CE Mark class I electronic medical device (WalkinSense®), designed to monitor dynamics of human lower limbs’. Time spending in sports practice was not accounted for this analysis. Differences were found between the competitive and the recreational groups in the number of training hours per week and walking distance. Similarly, the competitive group showed differences with the two other groups in weight, body mass index, training hours per week, steps/day and walking distance. Our findings suggest that individuals with Down syndrome engaged in competitive training are more active persons behind their sport comparing to their non-competitive peers, but remain far from the 10 000 steps/day that is the recommended guideline for healthier adults without any disability.


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