Prescribing Exercise to Individuals with Disabilities: What Are the Concerns?

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Abstract

It is well known that individuals with disabilities, constituting 15% to 20% of the adult population, experience a disproportionate risk of cardiometabolic disease and are more likely to live sedentary lifestyles when compared with their able-bodied peers. Although many complex factors likely lead to these disparities, targeted exercise programs can be influential in improving the health outcomes of this population. Additionally, it is important to keep several factors in mind when tailoring the exercise prescription for individuals with varied types of disability, given unique factors related to medical history, mobility, and community barriers. By safely engaging individuals with disabilities in exercise programs, clinicians can promote inclusion while making a significant contribution to health outcomes, ensuring that the principles of “Exercise is Medicine” are accessible to individuals of all abilities.

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