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The Effects of a Video-Enhanced Schedule on Exercise Behavior


Research focusing on physical exercise and individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is limited. Activity- and video-enhanced schedules have successfully increased leisure, academic, social, and daily living skills for individuals with ASD and may be effective in increasing exercise. We evaluated the effects of a video-enhanced schedule presented on an iPad® on exercise behavior with adolescents with ASD using a multiple probe across participants design. Specifically, the effects of a video-enhanced exercise schedule with graduated guidance on independent schedule-following behavior and on-task behavior was evaluated. Participants acquired a video-enhanced exercise schedule and remained on task; we also successfully faded proximity from the participant. The skills generalized to a novel exercise and setting and maintained over time. The procedures were reported to be socially acceptable by stakeholders. Individuals with ASD are more likely to live sedentary lifestyles, have poor diets and sleep, and be overweight. We evaluated the effects of a video-enhanced exercise schedule presented on an iPad® with individuals with ASD on independent schedule following behavior and on-task behavior. We also attempted to fade proximity from an instructor and assessed generalization, maintenance, and social validity. Individuals quickly acquired the exercise schedule and remained on task. Distance from an instructor was increased, skills generalized to novel exercises and locations and maintained over time, and the procedures and outcomes were reported favorable by stakeholders. Practitioners should continue to evaluate the effects of video-enhanced schedules on exercise behavior and determine how to fade the videos.

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Correspondence to Ruth M. DeBar.

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Human Studies

All procedures performed involving human participants were in accordance with ethical standards of the institutional research committee and with 1964 Helsinki Declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

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All authors declare that they have no competing interests.

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Informed consent was obtained from the parents of all individual participants included in the study.

Additional information

This study is based on a thesis submitted by the first author, under the supervision of the second author, to the Department of Applied Behavior Analysis at Caldwell University for the Master of Arts in Applied Behavior Analysis.

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Torres, R., DeBar, R.M., Reeve, S.A. et al. The Effects of a Video-Enhanced Schedule on Exercise Behavior. Behav Analysis Practice 11, 85–96 (2018).

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  • Activity schedules
  • Autism spectrum disorder
  • Fitness
  • Leisure skills