Exercise in Children with Disabilities
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Purpose of Review
The goal of this paper is to review the role and importance of exercise in the overall health and fitness of children with disabilities and to identify unique considerations in specific populations.
Exercise and activity are known to be of critical importance to the health and well-being of typically developing children and adolescents. Children with disabling conditions are not immune to the obesity epidemic and even less likely to participate in structured or recreational activities than their typically developing peers. Although barriers to participation exist, studies largely support the same physiologic benefits of exercise in children with medical conditions and disabilities as those without. Providers must be aware of exercise precautions and restrictions specific to children with certain diagnoses. Furthermore, children with disabilities may need additional supports, accommodations, and individualization to facilitate participation. Future research should address activity guidelines for children with specific diagnoses as well as means of engaging children and adolescents with disabilities to participate in exercise.
Physical activity and exercise have been proven to be beneficial, safe, and effective for children and adolescents with disabilities, though some individuals will require special precautions for safety or adaptations to permit participation.
KeywordsExercise Children Disability Adaptive sports Precautions Physical activity
Compliance with Ethical Standards
Conflict of Interest
Sherilyn Driscoll, Erin Conlee, Joline Brandenburg, Bradford Landry, Amy Rabatin, Cara Prideaux and Edward Laskowski declare no conflicts of interest relevant to this manuscript.
Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent
This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.
Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance •• Of major importance
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