Current recommendations indicate that children and youth ages 5–17 should participate in 60 min and adults in 150 min of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity daily. Research suggests that physical activity levels of individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) are lower than typically developing and developed peers. Despite evidence for PA decreasing negative behaviors and promoting positive behaviors, individuals with ASD may be less motivated and less likely to participate. Individuals with ASD may be more likely to be overweight or obese than their typically developing counterparts as a result of decreased activity levels. Conflicting findings regarding PA levels in individuals with ASD have been reported. Given mixed evidence, further inquiry is warranted. The present chapter provides a review of literature pertaining to PA in individuals with ASD. Four databases were searched. Predetermined search terms and inclusion/exclusion criteria were clearly outlined to identify relevant articles which were then critically appraised. This research provides a greater understanding of the status of PA participation of individuals with ASD.
Part of the book: Autism