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The effects of a physical activity program on children with myelomeningocele: Two case reports

1 May 1993


Two subjects with myelomeningocele participated in an eight week activity program to determine if changes would occur in upper extremity strength, cardiovascular endurance, and self-esteem. Each subjects served as their own control for a four week period and attended an eight week activity program once a week. The program consisted of warm-up, aerobic, upper extremity strengthening, and cool-down periods. Self-esteem was measured via the hare Self-Esteem Scale (HSS). Upper extremity strength measurements were taken with a hand-held dynamometer. Cardio vascular endurance was measured by recording resting heart rate, exercise heart rate, and the total distance ambulated in a 12-minute period. All measures were taken before and after the four week control period and after the physical activity period. The results indicated a great deal of variability within and between the subjects, and measures obtained in the control period were too variable to establish a true control period. Consequently, no conclusions can be drawn from this study. However, the investigator, the subjects and their families thought the program was a success in providing an outlet for socialization and physical activity, and that there is a need for organized fitness programs for children with disabilities.


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