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Med Sci Sports Exerc. 1996 Nov;28(11):1366-72.

Research on physical activity and disability: an emerging national priority.

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  • 1Research Unit, Institute on Disability and Human Development, University of Illinois at Chicago, USA.


Despite the voluminous amount of research that has been published in the field of exercise science over the past three decades, there remains a paucity of information on the activity patterns and physiological responses to exercise in persons with disabilities. In an era when physical activity has grown to new heights in terms of its importance in promoting health and preventing disease, many questions pertaining to how it affects the lives of individuals with physical disabilities remain unanswered. The purpose of this paper is to review the prevalence of disability in the United States and to present recommendations for future research on physical activity and disability. A related objective of this paper is to encourage exercise scientists to undertake research on this increasingly significant group of American citizens.

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