FUNfitness is the comprehensive physical therapy component of the Special Olympics Healthy Athletes initiative. Developed for Special Olympics by the American Physical Therapy Association, FUNfitness is designed to assess and improve flexibility, functional strength and balance; to educate participants, families and coaches about the importance of flexibility, strength and balance; and to provide a hands-on opportunity for participants to learn about physical therapy.
At a FUNfitness screening event the physical therapist assesses flexibility of the hamstring, calf, shoulder rotator, and hip flexor muscles; functional strength of the abdominal and lower extremity muscles; and balance (single-leg stance and functional reach). Physical therapist assistants, and physical therapist or physical therapist assistant students work during the screening under the direction and supervision of the physical therapist.
FUNfitness also provides “take-away” educational materials for Special Olympics athletes and information for families and coaches about the importance of and methods to improve flexibility, functional strength and balance in sports performance and activities of daily living.