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Adults with Disabilities infographic

Percentage of adults ages 18–64 with disabilities who have 1 or more chronic diseases, by aerobic physical activity level.

Percentage of adults ages 18-64 with disabilities who have 1 or more chronic diseases, by aerobic physical activity level

Pie Chart 1: Adults with disabilities who are inactive who report no or 1 or more chronic diseases

  • 0 chronic disease: 54 percent
  • 1 or more chronic diseases: 46 percent

Pie Chart 2: Adults with disabilities who are active who report no or 1 or more chronic diseases

  • 0 chronic disease: 69 percent
  • 1 or more chronic diseases: 31 percent

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Percentage of adults ages 18–64 who get no aerobic physical activity, by disability type.

Percentage of adults 18-64 who get no aerobic physical activity, by disability type

  • Mobility (Serious difficulty walking or climbing stairs): 57 Percent
  • Cognitive (Serious difficulty concentrating, remembering, or making decisions): 40 Percent
  • Vision (Serious difficulty seeing, even wearing glasses): 36 Percent
  • Hearing (Serious difficulty hearing): 33 percent
  • No Disability (Does not have any of the above disability types): 26 Percent

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Image of infographics  with multiple images and icons and a road map of 5 steps that doctors and other health professionals can follow to recommend aerobic physical activity options.

Increasing physical activity among adults with disabilities

START

  1. Know the Physical Activity Guidelines
    • The Physical
    • Activity Guidelines are for everybody.
    • www.health.gov/paguidelines/guidelines/
    • Review the patient's charts before each visit.
    • Explain that adults of all shapes, sizes and abilities can benefit from being physically active.
    • Encourage at least 2½ hours a week of moderate-intensity physical activity.
  2. Ask about physical activity
    • How much physical activity are you currently doing each week?
    • What types of physical activity do you enjoy?
    • How can you add more physical activity in your life?
    • Remember to look beyond the disability and put the person first. Use terms such as "person with a disability" instead of "disabled" or "handicapped person".
  3. Discuss barriers to physical activity
    • Physical Barriers
    • Emotional Barriers
  4. Recommend physical activity options
    • Describe physical activity options based on patient's abilities.
    • Brisk walking
    • Wheeling oneself in wheelchair
    • Swimming laps
    • Water aerobics
    • Hand-crank bicycle
    • Wheelchair basketball, tennis, football, or softball
  5. Refer patient to resources and programs
    • Remember to use the "teach-back" method to make sure patient understands the recommendations.
    • Refer patient to resources and programs to help them begin or maintain their physical activity.
    • Check-in with patient about his or her activity level at every visit.

For resources: http://www.cdc.gov/disabilities/PA

SOURCE: 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans 2008; Exercise is Medicine, 2014, http://exerciseismedicine.org.

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  • Page last reviewed: May 6, 2014
  • Page last updated: May 6, 2014
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