Armin Paravlic, Marko Aleksandrovic, Dobrica Zivkovic, Dragan Radovanovic, Dejan Madic, Stefan Djordjevic, Admira Konicanin

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The objective of this study is to determine the effects of programs of physical exercise on visually-impaired children and to provide guidelines for further research and practice with the population in question.   

Nine electronic databases were searched to identify relevant articles. The search included papers published between 1990 and 2013. The following keywords were used for the searches: visual impairments, blindness, disability, amblyopia, children, physical activity, and sports activity. The retrieved study titles, abstracts and whole papers were read and analyzed. In order for a study to be included in the final analysis, it had to satisfy following criteria: first, the study had to include both an experimental and a control group, and second, the participants had to be aged between 7 and 18 years.

The four studies satisfied the criteria set. The small number of studies collected for analysis points to an unfortunate deficit in terms of information resulting from focused scientific research regarding the effects of exercise programs on the anthropological status of visually impaired children. This calls attention to a need for more future research in this area.

The results of the analyzed studies indicate that exercise programs at least 8 weeks in duration with a weekly frequency of two or three practices each lasting 50 minutes (30 minutes of effective physical exercise) had a beneficial effect and led to an improvement in functional, motor and physiological characteristics in visually-impaired children.     

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