The Feasibility of University Adapted Physical Activity and Nutrition Education for Young Adults with Intellectual Disabilities


  • Chih Chia Chen Mississippi State University
  • Alice Walker Mississippi State University
  • Kendall Collins Mississippi State University
  • Holeh Heydari Mississippi State University
  • Soyoun Lim Mississippi State University
  • Pamela Kulinna Arizona State University


Adapted Physical Education, Physical Literacy, Health Literacy, Attitude


Purpose: A high prevalence of chronic conditions is well documented in individuals with intellectual disabilities (ID). The purpose of this study was to explore the feasibility of a university adapted physical activity (APA) program with nutrition focused health education for college students with ID. 

Methods: Nine students with ID and three activity partners participated for a 50-min session of the APA and another 50-min session of nutrition education each week for 12 weeks. Measures of behavioral outcomes were tested before and after the program. Evaluation notes were gained after the program. 

Learning Outcomes: Students reported more positive attitudes and beliefs about exercise after the program due to learning new sports skills, training, and making new friends. It is also important, however, to note the limitations imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic on opportunities for physical activity and food preparation. Thus, more perceived barriers and no changes in exercise self-efficacy were noted.

Conclusion: This study provides a sample protocol and curriculum within a university setting, particularly since preliminary outcomes showed positive attitudes and beliefs as reported by the participants. This study also provides possible steps that educators can take to plan and implement their own programs for adults with ID.


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How to Cite

Chen, C. C., Walker, A., Collins, K., Heydari, H., Lim, S., & Kulinna, P. (2023). The Feasibility of University Adapted Physical Activity and Nutrition Education for Young Adults with Intellectual Disabilities. Journal of Health and Physical Literacy, 2(1), 14–25. Retrieved from



Scholarly Clinical or Pedagogical Article