Physical activity of children and youth with disabilities and the effect on participation in meaningful leisure-time activities

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Purpose: 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. For the first time in Germany, the potential of physical activity and of joining a sports club to influence participation in other areas of life is evaluated. Methods: 408 pupils (10–19y.) with intellectual, physical or visual disability participated, wearing an accelerometer and answering questions. Parents filled out a questionnaire on the frequency of participation and the severity of the disability. Differences in the pa rticipation according to age, gender, severity of disability, sports club membership, and the activity levels were analyzed using nonparametric tests and bivariate correlations. Results: Frequency of participation differs between gender and age groups and is in part influenced by the disability. Participants seldom belong to sports clubs and their activity level is rather low. Attending a sports club has many positive effects on participation and supports physical activity. Conclusion: Sports programs that include all children and youth need to be expanded. Physicians and well-trained coaches may allay parents’ doubts of whether their child is able to participate in a sports club.
Original languageEnglish
Article number1648176
JournalCogent Social Sciences
Issue number1
Number of pages15
Publication statusPublished - 09.08.2019

ID: 4650812

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