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This fifth chapter is about sport and disability. It examines recent research and offers suggestions for current work on disability, sport, and social awareness. It examines disability and physical activity and considers sport and disability as important health messages, challenges and opportunity. The authors describe potential obstacles to participation and offer proof-based interventions. They suggest avenues for change and look at some potential new directions for future research. Finally, they end by briefly describing the sport of disability as an emerging global problem.

Throughout the past century and more, many researchers have explored the relationship between sport and disability. Much research has looked into the impact of physical activity on psychological and emotional well-being, motivation, mood and stress. Researchers suggest that being unable or unwilling to participate in sport can have worse health consequences than those due to natural disabilities or illnesses. For this reason, many disability aids have been developed to promote sport and physical activity participation.

Complexities can exist between disability and sport. The authors describe different types of disability, sport, and physical activity as separate entities. They then examine how these three factors interact. They then discuss theoretical models that can help understand disability, sport, and physical activity and examine current realities in disability and adaptation. The result is a descriptive framework, useful for researchers, professionals and students who need to understand these interrelated concepts.

Physical activities require coordination, skill, endurance, flexibility, balance, and coordination. People with particular disabilities may also have difficulties with balance, strength and coordination. Some disabilities make it difficult for people with disabilities to run, jump, climb or move around.

There are many types of physical disabilities. People may be affected by autism, muscle weakness, neurological problems and bone spurs. Some disabilities make it impossible or difficult to perform normal activities. A disability can limit people’s ability work, earn or participate in social interactions. Some disabilities are so severe that they prevent people from leading an active life.

It can be difficult for disabled people to do everyday activities such as dressing, driving, walking and using the bathroom. Many disabled people choose to “fit” into regular activities by participating in structured fitness programs. Fitness programs give disabled people a chance to exercise and build muscle strength, improve flexibility, or improve motor function. Some programs are designed for people with special medical conditions. They allow them to lead a healthy lifestyle and live an active life.

Many physical therapy centers offer programs that help to improve and recondition movement, and function. These programs allow people to exercise independently of the need for assistance. Some physical therapists provide customized treatment plans for patients with various medical conditions. Some physical therapy centers also use massage chairs, equipment, treadmills, balance balls, power tubing, whirlpool baths, treading machines, laser machines, TENS machine, and exercise ball. Massage therapy can enhance blood circulation, increase mobility and range of motion, reduce stress, lower body fat, decrease pain, improve muscle tone, increase joint flexibility, and strengthen muscles.

Some disabled people find that physical activity is not enough for them to live a full life. Some people with physical disabilities find that they need more than just physical activity to improve their quality of life. Some disabled people have difficulty dressing, eating, and walking. It is important for these people to have equipment and devices, such as mobility aids and scooters, to allow them to continue with their daily activities.

 

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