Physical activity of children and youth with disabilities and the effect on participation in meaningful leisure-time activities
Source: Cogent Social Sciences
Resource Type: Website or Webpage Article
Audience(s): City or County Agency Staff, Community Member or Organization, Educators, Health or Mental Health Professional, School Staff or Administrators
Focus Population: Youth with Disabilities
The purpose of this study was to collect data of the physical activity of children and youth with a disability as well as their frequency of participation in meaningful leisure-time activities. Continuous physical activity is one of the essentials for a healthy lifestyle: Health-enhancing processes, such as the training of muscles and endurance, are activated with positive effects on cardiovascular diseases and body composition. In addition, for people with disabilities, sports, and physical activity can have a positive effect on their ability to perform daily living activities (WHO, 2003). For children and youth, a special emphasis should be placed on sports programs after school, as it is supposed that participation in such is driven by internal motivation and involves freedom of choice and self-determination, a prerequisite for optimal participation (Shikako-Thomas, Dahan-Oliel, & Shevell et al., 2012). Furthermore, organized sports in clubs could be shown to positively influence the self-concept of youth (Burrmann, 2004). They also rated themselves better in terms of being liked and less often bullied by others than those not taking part in clubs (Fussan, 2006). The German Olympic Sports Confederation also highlights the potential of sports to include people with disabilities. It supports social activities and meeting opportunities of people with and without disabilities and strengthens the idea of self-determined and equal participation for all in society (DOSB, 2017).