Individual and Family-based Approaches to Increase Physical Activity in Adolescents with IDD


Thank you for your interest in the Weight Maintenance Study with The University of Kansas - Energy Balance Lab (EBL) and University of Kansas Medical Center - Center for Physical Activity and Weight Management (CPAWM).

We are looking for adolescents (ages 10-21) with intellectual and developmental disabilities who are not currently participating in a regular exercise program and are interested in starting a physical activity program.

This 18-month study is being conducted to determine if group exercise sessions delivered remotely can increase the amount of physical activity you and your child get each week, and how parental involvement in the exercise sessions affects how much physical activity you and your child get each week.

The first 6 months concentrate on increasing physical activity, the next 6 months concentrate on maintaining that physical activity, and the last 6 months are a no-contact follow up-period.

Individuals in this study will be randomized to one of two groups. Group 1 will have the intervention delivered to the adolescent only. Group 2 will have the intervention delivered to adolescent plus a parent, meaning parents will be encouraged to participate in the intervention.

Both groups will be asked to attend live group exercise sessions, delivered using Zoom Video Conferencing™, which is an iPad application that allows users to participate in real-time video conferencing. This iPad will be provided to you as part of the study. All adolescents will be able to see and interact with each other and the exercise coach over the video conference. We will ask all groups to attend 3-30-minute sessions a week the first 6 months, and 1-30-minute session a week during months 6-12.

Parents in the adolescent + parent group will be encouraged to attend the exercise sessions with their adolescent, they will also be asked to attend monthly parent support meetings delivered remotely, and have access to a Facebook page where they will receive additional support for promoting physical activity in the household.


  • Be 10-21 years of age.
  • Have a diagnosis of an intellectual and developmental disabilities.
  • Doing less then 90 minutes of week of physical activity (not including PE).
  • Live at home with a parent/guardian, who is willing to participate in the intervention.
  • Have internet access in the home.
  • Be committed to an 18-month study.

Need More Information?

Please feel free to contact our staff if you have any additional questions.

Kameron Suire, Coordinator