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Impact of Adaptive Sports Participation on Quality of Life

Diaz, Robert, MD; Miller, Emily K., MD; Kraus, Emily, MD; Fredericson, Michael, MD

Sports Medicine and Arthroscopy Review: June 2019 - Volume 27 - Issue 2 - p 73–82
doi: 10.1097/JSA.0000000000000242
Review Articles

The health benefits of regular recreational physical activity are well known in reducing secondary health consequences of a sedentary lifestyle in the general population. However, individuals with physical disabilities participate less frequently in recreational activity compared with those without disabilities. Although evidence on the impact of recreational physical activity on quality of life in this population is in its infancy, regular recreational and sports activity participation has shown to have a positive association with improvements in quality of life, life satisfaction, community reintegration, mood, and employment in those with disabilities. Facilitators of participating in adaptive sports include a desire to improve social support, physical fitness, health, and fun. Unfortunately, those with disabilities face numerous barriers to participate in adaptive sports including accessibility, transportation, awareness, finances, and physical and cognitive impairments. Further studies are needed to investigate facilitators and barriers to participating in adaptive sports to capitalize on the physical and psychosocial benefits of regular recreational activity. The aim of this article is to review the available literature on the effects of adaptive sports participation on quality of life.

Department of Orthopedics, Stanford Hospital and Clinics, PM&R Division, Stanford, CA

Disclosure: The authors declare no conflict of interest.

Reprints: Robert Diaz, MD, 450 Broadway Street, Redwood City, CA 94063.

Copyright © 2019 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.