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Does Fitness Matter For Children With Disabilities

Page history last edited by Katie Todd 11 years, 10 months ago

Celeste Otto

 Second Author: Katie Todd

Physical Fitness for Disabled Children


    A very critical part of the daily life's of children with developmental disabilites is physical fitness. [1] It has been shown that children with disabilities tend to be less fit then their peers who do not have any disabilities. [2] Physical fitness is not only a necessity in peoples lives who are healthy but fitness is just as important or in some circumstances may be more important of those who have disabilities. For example children with disabilities are at greater risk to become obese, the lack of physical activity may not only lead to obesity, but possibly many health problems as well. [3]



 Mobile disability can effect your health by increasing:

  • blood sugar
  • blood pressure 


Lack of exercise may lead to:

  •  cardiovascular problems
  • osteoporosis[4]





Benefits of Being Fit For Disabled Children:


Structured physical activity may:

  1. Improve health
  2. Reduce negative behaviors
  3. Enhance social behaviors
  4. Improve self-esteem in children [5]



 Importance of Exercise for the Disabled[6]

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Examples of Daily Physical Activities

  • Use a wheelchair for 30-45 minutes

  • Wheelchair basketball

  • Wheelchair football[7]

  • Swimming
  • Softball
  • Volleyball
  • Running 


Get Involved in Leagues

  • Ex: Swimming league will help:

    • Develop relationships
    • Build up self confidence 
    • To stay active
    • The entire body to stay toned!!


Great Way to Stay Fit : Athletic Competitions!!

Special Olympics[8]

  • Provide sports training for disabled individuals
  • Yearly Competitions
  • Free of charge
  • 15 different sports related activities
    • Ex: Aquatics, basketball, bowling, and softball



Personal Experience




   Having an older brother with downs syndrome has shown me that physical fitness is very important in the lives of disabled children. He became over weight and out of shape without daily exercise. As a result he was diagnosed with some serious health problems, however now that physical fitness is a part of his everyday life he is becoming a very slim and healthy young man. I believe that physical fitness is very important for all children not excluding those children with disabilities.


        "Every handicapped child should have the right to learn how to realize their health potential..."Daetwiler[9]



  1. http://www.ncpad.org/disability/fact_sheet.php?sheet=143
  2. http://www.ncpad.org/disability/fact_sheet.php?sheet=143
  3. http://www.ncpad.org/exercise/fact_sheet.php?sheet=488
  4. http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0EIN/is_/ai_n21028312
  5. http://www.ncpad.org/disability/fact_sheet.php?sheet=143
  6. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=77n5QrqC4fc
  7. http://www.cdc.gov/nccdphp/sgr/disab.htm
  8. http://www.specialolympicsarkansas.org/index.cfm
  9. http://0-www.lexisnexis.com.library.uark.edu/us/lnacademic/results/docview/docview.do?docLinkInd=true&risb=21_T5026678442&format=GNBFI&sort=RELEVANCE&startDocNo=1&resultsUrlKey=29_T5026678445&cisb=22_T5026678444&treeMax=true&treeWidth=0&csi=220765&docNo=1

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