Objectives: To evaluate the effect of Physical education (PE) programmes in the improvement of health related fitness variables. Methodology and Results: Health-related fitness levels of persons with physical disabilities who participated in an eight week physical education programme were measured using the project UNIQUE physical fitness test battery of Winnick and Short (1985). The study group comprised of 17 boys and 14 girls from classes five, six and seven. Pre-test and post test design was used in this study. A pretest was carried out two weeks after school opening, from a five week vacation from December to January of 2009 and a post-test eight weeks later at the end of the treatment period. The data collected was descriptively analyzed and one-way ANOVA was computed to determine the significance of difference between pre and post-test means of the dependent variables under investigation, by gender and across the ages. The following hypothesis was tested in this study: - HO1 – there was no significant difference between the pretest and posttest data results with regard to the following variables of the physically challenged: cardio-respiratory endurance, low back flexibility and percent body fat. HO2 – there was no significant difference according to the gender on health-related fitness levels of the physically challenged pupils of Joyland Special School in relation to gender at pretest and posttest. The null hypotheses were rejected at P<0.05 level of significance. The findings showed that the pupils had a lower fitness level at pre test compared to after PE program. This study further established that in cardio respiratory endurance boys performed better than girls, while in low back flexibility both boys and girls demonstrated an improvement across all age groups. The overall findings of the study established that there were significant improvements on cardio respiratory endurance and low back flexibility. However, improvements on body composition were not statistically significant at p< 0.05 level. Conclusions and applications of the findings: The results showed that physical education improves health- related fitness of persons with physical disabilities. The study recommends that physical education should be encouraged in all schools even in those involving persons with physical disabilities. Physical Education should be allocated more time on the school time table than currently available. We recommend 5 Physical Education lessons each lasting 35 minutes totaling to approximately 3 ½ hours per week and further propose replication of this study to larger study groups and to include other categories of special needs groups, e.g. mentally handicapped and visually impaired persons.


This article is originally published in the Journal of Applied Biosciences.


Journal of Applied Biosciences

Date of publication

Fall 8-1-2010



Persistent identifier


Document Type


Publisher Citation

Odiango, R., Wamukoya, E. K., & Njororai Simiyu, W. W. (2010). Effect of Physical Education programmes on health-related fitness components of physically challenged pupils. Journal of Applied Biosciences 31: 1916 - 1927, 31, 1916 – 1927.



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