Free radicals in the body create malondialdehyde (MDA), which is one of the most frequent indicators of oxidative stress. Several studies have reported the increase of MDA in inactive persons and individuals with developmental disorders. The purpose of this study, therefore, was to examine whether a program of physical activity reduces MDA in children with intellectual disability.
Twenty boy students with intellectual disability (7 to 9 years old) voluntarily participated in the study. They were randomly divided into experimental and control groups. The experimental group performed a physical curriculum known as sports, play and active recreation for kids (SPARK) for 12 weeks (3 sessions of 45 minutes per week), while the control group was exempted to participate in the program. The level of MDA in blood samples of all participants was measured before and after the intervention. Repeated measures ANOVA was applied to analyze the data (α = 0.05).
Analysis revealed that there was no significant difference between two groups in pretest (P = 0.698, η2 = 0.009). However, in posttest, the experimental group had significantly lower level of MDA as compared to the control group (P < 0.001, η2 = 0.555).
According to the results, it can be argued that the selected SPARK program reduces MDA which may consequently result in less oxidative stress in children with intellectual disability.
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