Thursday, June 17, 2010

Exercise for Persons with a Disability

As we have recently been reminded, an increasing number of Canadians are overweight despite programming being implemented to address the issue (Canadian Community Health Survey). Many programs focus on the general population, but what about those who are Para or Quadriplegic. A recent article from the SIRC Collection discusses the value of exercise for individuals who have little or no voluntary movement (see reference below). The importance of exercising the legs in particular is addressed in their role as the main pump that returns blood to the heart. It is important to perform passive exercise that will help legs retain or improve their flexibility, range of motion, and bone strength, and help in atrophy prevention. Passive/active exercisers can allow the user to exercise from home while in a wheelchair or scooter or to continue their exercise on outings or while on trips. Passive/active exercise is beneficial for those with a wide range of physical disabilities including: paraplegia, quadriplegia, multiple sclerosis, cerebral palsy, arthritis, diabetes, stroke patients or those who have suffered brain trauma.

The Active Living Alliance for Canadians with a Disability also has a variety of resources and information on maintaining an active lifestyle. Resources include:

Reference from the SIRC Collection:
Gray, R. Errol (2009). The Value of Exercise for Para and Quadriplegia, Total Access, Fall 2009, p.10-11.

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