Submitted: 21 Nov 2021
Revision: 20 Jan 2022
Accepted: 24 Jan 2022
ePublished: 26 Jun 2022
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Int J Basic Sci Med. 2022;7: 69-76.
doi: 10.34172/ijbsm.2022.12
  Abstract View: 554
  PDF Download: 357

Original Article

Lifestyle Modification for Autism-Spectrum Disorder, the Effects of Functional Training Along With Online Nutritional Education on Physical Fitness Parameters: A Randomized Clinical Trial

Kimia Moiniafshari 1 ORCID logo, Mandana Gholami 2* ORCID logo, Hamid Dalvand 3 ORCID logo, Mohammad Efatpanah 4 ORCID logo, Saeed Rezayi 5

1 PhD. Student of Exercise Physiology, Department of Physical Education and Sport Sciences, Faculty of Literature, Humanities and Social Sciences, Science and Research Branch, Islamic Azad University, Tehran, Iran
2 Associate professor, Department of Physical Education and Sport Sciences, Faculty of Literature, Humanities and Social Sciences, Science and Research Branch, Islamic Azad University, Tehran, Iran
3 Associate Professor, Department of Occupational Therapy, School of Rehabilitation, Tehran University of medical sciences, Tehran, Iran
4 Associate Professor, Department of Pediatric, School of Medicine, Imam Khomeini Hospital, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran
5 Associate Professor, Department of Psychology and Educational Sciences, Allameh Tabataba’i University, Tehran, Iran
*Corresponding Author: Email: gholami_man@yahoo.com


Introduction: COVID-19 pandemic has affected individual lives in several aspects, including physical activity and dietary pattern, which are common challenges among children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). The purpose of this clinical trial was to investigate the effect of functional training along with online nutritional education on physical fitness indicators in 8-12 years old children with ASD. Methods: Eighty children with ASD (age = 9.73 ± 1.29 years, weight = 49.94 ± 2.08 kg, height = 146.08 ± 40 cm, BMI percentile = 64.88 ± 2.89, fat mass percentage = 24.71 ± 1.48) were randomly divided into four groups, including: (1) functional training, (2) online nutritional education, (3) functional training + nutritional education, and (4) control group. The interventional groups received their specific interventions for eight weeks and three session per week. The control group did not receive any intervention. Physical fitness indicators were assessed prior to the intervention and at the end of eight weeks.Results: There was no significant difference between the demographic and physical fitness parameters (PFPs), including upper limb, lower limb, abdominal, trunk strength, cardio-respiratory fitness, dynamic and static balance, flexibility, speed, and 1 repetition-maximum (1RM) between the groups before the interventions (P ˃ 0.05). There was a significant improvement in physical fitness indicators in all the interventional groups in comparison with the control group (P ≤ 0.001).Conclusion: The results of this study indicated that functional training and online nutritional education may improve physical fitness indicators in ASD children, offering beneficial health outcomes during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Keywords: Autism spectrum disorder, Covid-19, Functional training, Online nutritional education, Physical fitness
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