Physical Activity 

for the Disabled

USTA Adaptive Tennis Committee  |  June 1, 2019

Some of our registered programs have been asking for documentation supporting the importance of physical activity among the disabled population. This information, in the form of facts and figures, is helpful when seeking grants and donations to establish and maintain adaptive tennis programs. It also serves as a validation of efforts and can be cited to encourage additional participation.


As a result, we researched and found some pertinent articles that may prove useful.


Most recently in the Journal of Physical Education, Recreation & Dance, Vol. 90, No.1, there is an article entitled, “A Century of Physical Activity in the United States.” It points out that the concern over the lack of physical activity for all youth has been ongoing for the past hundred years.  Click here to read.  


In the publication Olympic Coach, Vol. ADVERTISEMENT 28, Issue 1, experts cite The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and state:  Only “1 in 5 high school students” meet the recommended guidelines for physical activity, but “youth with disabilities are twice as likely to be physically inactive (with) obesity rates almost 40% higher than youth without physical disabilities.” It goes on to suggest coaches can give “all children regardless of ability” a chance to be active and have a “significant impact on their quality and quantity (lifespan) of life.” Click here to read


Lastly, an article in the Journal of Adolescent Health 41 (2007) 224–229, cites 56 references to articles, reports and studies to support the authors’ premise that youth with physical and cognitive disabilities experience a much greater degree of obesity and secondary conditions (mobility limitations, deconditioning, fatigue, pain, pressure sores, depression and social isolation) that result in a personal and economic hardship on the child and family. The authors have suggested four areas as potential solutions: (1) physical activity, (2) nutrition, (3) knowledge or awareness, and (4) social participation.  Click here to read. 



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