By Morgan Jones

14023114_Elderly_Couple_Walking(dailyRx News) Staying physically active is important for everyone, even for adults who cope with disabilities. And a new report suggests that many of these adults aren’t getting enough activity.

According to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), around half of adults with a disability did not get any physical activity.

The report suggests that this lack of physical activity may contribute to an increased risk of chronic diseases like cancer, diabetes and heart disease.

In its report, CDC looked at adults in the US with a disability, which can involve a variety of issues, including problems with mobility, cognition, hearing or vision.

“These are adults with serious difficulty walking or climbing stairs; hearing; seeing; or concentrating, remembering, or making decisions,” explained CDC, who noted that this includes over 21 million people in the US between the ages of 18 and 64.

The report noted that even though most of these adults are able to participate in some sort of aerobic physical activity — the type of activity that makes the heart start to beat faster and breathing a bit more difficult — an estimated 47 percent get no such activity at all, and 22 percent get some activity, but not enough.


“Physical activity benefits all adults, whether or not they have a disability, by reducing their risk of serious chronic diseases, such as heart disease, stroke, diabetes and some cancers,” explained CDC.

CDC found that adults with disabilities were three times more likely than people without disabilities to have one of these chronic diseases. Furthermore, adults with disabilities who were not active were 50 percent more likely to have one of these chronic diseases than adults with disabilities who did get aerobic physical activity.

Luckily, it seems that a doctor’s recommendation may help, as the report found that these adults were 82 percent more likely to get physical activity if their doctor recommended it to them.

CDC urged doctors to speak with their patients with disabilities about physical activity, and to stress the importance of at least two hours and 30 minutes of moderate-intensity activity a week.

Depending on the patient, these activities may include brisk walking, wheeling oneself in a wheelchair, swimming laps, water aerobics or using a hand-crank bicycle.

“Doctors and other health professionals can recommend aerobic physical activity options that match each person’s specific abilities and connect him or her to resources that can help each person be physically active,” said CDC.

The report was published in the May issue of CDC’s Vital Signs. No conflicts of interest were reported.


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