Special Olympics International (SOI) has been implementing a variety of health activities and interventions within Special Olympics (SO) Programs for approximately 20 years. In recent years, there has been an increased effort to collect data on health related measures, behaviors and attitudes to understand both the short and long-term impact of these activities on health outcomes but also to determine opportunities to enhance programming.
Core indicators including blood pressure, BMI, physical activity and self-reported health were determined to be good measures of the impact SO programming has on an athlete’s health. Programs implementing health and fitness programming are asked to collect these core indicators so that SOI can assess how programming affects athlete’s health and wellbeing. In some instances, Programs are asked to collect “exploratory indicators” focusing on healthy eating habits and social and emotional wellness.
Collecting this information will provide invaluable information to SOI as to how health, wellness and physical activity programming affects athlete’s lives. This site serves as a resource for Programs to learn about the importance of sound program implementation and data collection.