Improving the health of people with intellectual disability through physical activity
People with intellectual disability, such as Down Syndrome, show alteration of muscle tonus and delayed motor development besides obesity and changes of lipid profile with consequent apnea and type 2 diabetes which can be reverted by physical exercises.
However, the physical activity in children and adolescents with intellectual disability corresponds to 50% of that recommended to people of the same age, whereas it is approximately zero in people older than 30. This is a relevant statement if it is considered that 85% of intellectually disabled people do not show impairment to practice physical exercises.
Moderate and well oriented activity in a safe place can bring immeasurable benefits to people with intellectual disability and it should be considered an important goal of public health and public policy.
However, most of the times people with intellectual disability do not have an appropriate support to effectively engage the physical activity in their life. It is exactly this condition that we want to change. In fact, lack of fundus and transport, difficult access and inadequate support from the caregivers are among the many barriers that these people have to face to practice physical exercises.
APAE (Association of parents and friends of disabled people) is a Social non-profit Organization that was created 64 years ago in Brasil with the objective to give support to people with intellectual disability. It is present in more than 2000 Brazilian cities. The Apae of our city, Botucatu, is 50 years-old and attend, without costs, an average of 310 persons older than 6 years-old who have intellectual deficiency and/or Autism in different degrees. Currently, 66% of these people are under 30. Half of them stay in the Institution all day long.
At APAE, there are professionals from different areas such as social workers, psychologists, physiotherapists, speech therapists, occupational therapists, physical educators, nurses, neurologist, psychiatrist and dentist. The staff of APAE comprises 100 employees. The Institution is directed by a group of volunteers, most of whom retires. They are chosen trough election and do not receive any payment.
The APAE - Botucatu assists people from low and middle class who show high degree of vulnerability. Many of them present obesity, high arterial pressure and sedentarism. They and their family do not have access to either supervised and directed physical activity in order to solve their health problems.
Thus, the health care that is offered nowadays would be significantly improved by the introduction of physical activity in an appropriate place, protected from tropical sun and constant rain that occur in the city. Unfortunately, there is not a covered square in the Institution.
The APAE-Botucatu receives benefits from Public agreements but the amount is less than the necessary and can not generally be used as investment. Consequently, any investment depends on external funds.
The objective of this global grant is to have a metallic cover installed at APAE square, allowing the disabled people to have a constant exercise practice, absolutely necessary for their health. It will help to the students reduce the incidence of obesity and improve their physical and metabolic parameters as well as boost their self-esteem.
The possibility of running the Project without any additional hiring and the easy maintenance of the proposed structure assure the project sustainability.
Timeline: 1) materials acquisition - 30 days; 2) assembly of metallic structure - 30 days; 3) Installation - 30 days
The project fundus to be used is from local and external clubs and FDUC
Club members will be involved in the proposal, implanting and evaluation phases.