Children with disabilities due to physical limitations are at risk of lack of exercise and reduced physical activity. The purpose of this study was the examination of the physical fitness in children with sensory impairment.
In this case-control study 16 blind children and 30 deaf children (6-12 yr) participated as the sample groups. 60 healthy children also participated as the control group. For assessing physical fitness the aerobic fitness (3minute step test), muscular endurance (sit ups), hand grip strength test, flexibility (sit-and-reach and trunk-lifting) and static and dynamic balance (modified flamingo test and Timed-up-and-Go) were measured. One-Way ANOVA and LSD post hoc test was used for data analyzing. Data analyze showed that hand grip strength test results of blinds were less than deaf and healthy subjects (p=0/007). Aerobic fitness in blind and deaf children were less than healthy children (p=0/001).There were no significant difference in the results of Sit and reach test among groups (p=0/365). However, there were significant difference among groups in Sit up (p=0/001) and trunk lift (p=0/001) test results. Static and dynamic balance test results showed significant difference between blind and deaf groups (p=0/001), but there were no statistical difference between deaf (p=0/17) and healthy subjects (p=0/935). According to the findings of the present study, sensory impairment leads to poor physical fitness such as aerobic fitness, muscle strength and endurance and balance. Therefore, early screening of physical fitness and designing proper physical fitness and exercise training programs appears to be essential to improve children's physical condition.