Exercise as it relates to Disease/The benefits of resistance training for people with down syndrome

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What is Down Syndrome?[edit | edit source]

Down Syndrome is a genetic condition, in the human body there are 23 pairs of chromosomes, which is 46 individual chomosomes in every cell. An individual with Down Syndrome has an extra chromosome 21, therefore has 47 chromosomes. there are many different physical and mental characteristics that identifies a individual with Down Syndrome. An individual with Down Syndrome is can be identified at birth and it is normally confirmed by a blood test.[1]

Signs of Down Syndrome[edit | edit source]

Some signs of individuals with down syndrome are[2]

  • Decrease muscle tone at birth
  • Excess skin on the nape of the neck
  • Flattened nose
  • Small ears
  • Small mouth
  • Upward slanting eyes
  • Wide short hands and fingers2

Physical development in individuals with down syndrome is slower than what it is in an average person. A lot of individuals with down syndrome never reach average adult height. Children with down syndrome may be affected by a delay of there mental and social development. Some problems included

  • Poor judgement
  • Slower Learning
  • impulsive behaviour
  • Short attention span2.

Prevalence[edit | edit source]

It is estimated that 1 in 800 babies are born with Down Syndrome.[3] About 13,000 people in Australia have Down Syndrome and the numbers increasing by the day.[4]

What is Resistance Training?[edit | edit source]

Resistance training is also referred to as weight training or strength training, is to use resistance in the muscle contraction to build muscular strength in skeletal muscle.[5] weak muscles are common in individuals with down syndrome. [11] The most common job for an individual with down syndrome is a job that require physical work.[6] A decrease in physical strength can have a negative impact on the individual with down syndrome socially and economically. [ 6]

Why is Resistance Training Important for individuals with Down Syndrome?[edit | edit source]

Resistance training is important for individuals with down syndrome because they have around 50% less muscle strength than there peers with normal development.[7] in adolescence children with down syndrome become less active therefore it would be important for them to do strength training so they don't lose a more strength.[8]

Exercise Recommendations[edit | edit source]

Some exercises that could be conducted to increase muscle strength are [9]

Upper Body

  • Bench Press
  • Seated Row
  • Shoulder Press
  • Bicep Curls

Lower Body

  • Leg Press
  • Wall Squat
  • Leg Extension
  • Leg Curls

some studies have done a 10 week training period which the participants turned up for 90% of the training session. A ten week program did have an advantage as it fit in with the school term and.[10] studies have shown that doing a six- ten week training program, 2-3 times a week will help improve strength [11]

Further reading[edit | edit source]

References=[edit | edit source]

  1. Down Syndrome Victoria Available from: http://www.downsyndromevictoria.org.au/DSAV/Information/About_Down_syndrome/What_is_Down_syndrome/DSAV/Information/What_is_Down_syndrome.aspx?
  2. Public Medical Health Available from: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0001992/
  3. Down Syndrome Association of Queensland Inc Available from: http://www.dsaq.org.au/information-about-down-syndrome.htm
  4. Down Syndrome Australia Available from: http://www.downsyndrome.org.au/info.html
  5. Better Health Channel Sited: http://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/bhcv2/bhcarticles.nsf/pages/Resistance_training_the_health_benefits
  6. Shields N, Taylor NF, Dodd KJ (2008) Effects of a community- based progressive resistance training program on muscle performance and physical function in adults with Down syndrome: a randomized controlled trial. Archives of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation 89: 1215–1220
  7. Croce RV, Pitetti KH, Horvat M, Miller J (1996) Peak torque, average power, and hamstrings/quadriceps ratios in non-disabled adults and adults with mental retardation. Archives of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation 77: 369–372
  8. Shields N, Dodd K, Abblitt C (2009) Children with Down syndrome do not perform sufficient physical activity to maintain good health or optimize cardiovascular fitness. Adapted Physical Activity Quarterly 26: 307–320.
  9. Shawn M. Arent, Michelle Karczewski and John C. Greenwood, improving Active Range of Motion of Athletes with Down Syndrome Through Strength Training
  10. Nora Shields and Nicholas F Taylor, A student-led progressive resistance training program increases lower limb muscle strength in adolescents with Down syndrome: a randomised controlled trial, Shields and Taylor: Resistance exercise in Down syndrome
  11. Sukriti Gupta, Bhamini krishna Rao and Kumaran SD, Effect of strength and balance training in children with Down’s syndrome: a randomized controlled trial, Clinical Rehabilitation 2011; 25: 425–432