Importance of Activity in Persons with Disabilities

Oct 20, 2011
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Anyone that knows anything about physical activity or about persons with a disability should know that physical activity is just as essential in the overall well being of someone with a disability as it is for someone without a disability. Physical activity is not only essential for the countless physical benefits, but the mental and emotional well being as well. Unfortunately, people with disabilities are less likely to engage in regular moderate physical activity than people without disabilities despite the fact that they have similar; if not an increased need to promote health and prevent unnecessary disease.

Like with any population the physical activity does not need to be strenuous to achieve health benefits. Depending on the intensity of the activity the duration can be adjusted to achieve maximum health benefits. For example, 40 minutes of wheeling oneself in a wheelchair can be just as beneficial as a more strenuous activity such as 20 minutes of wheelchair basketball. If a previously sedentary individual is just starting out they can achieve their daily recommended amount of physical activity in multiple short intervals. For example, they can do a moderate intensity activity 3 times in 10 minute bouts of time with the goal of eventually achieving 30 minutes of continuous exercise.

The longer duration and greater intensity are more than likely to achieve the highest potential of benefits overall. However, the key ingredient overall out of: frequency, duration, and intensity is: Frequency. Any individual, with or without a disability should try to accumulate some type of physical activity into their daily routine nearly every day.

If an individual with a disability is able to incorporate at least some physical activity into their daily routine the benefits are endless. It will help people with chronic, disabling conditions improve their stamina and muscle strength. It will also reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression, improve mood, and promote a general feeling of well-being.

Many individuals I have personally worked with: young or old, disabled or not, obese or underweight all have similar things to say about incorporating a physical activity program into their lifestyle and it is that it makes them feel better.

Improvement is not always measured on a scale or with a tape measure. Improvement is measured by how a person is made to feel or see themselves and that should always be, nothing less than great.

Author: Jess