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Scand J Med Sci Sports. 2011 Oct;21(5):730-8. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0838.2010.01097.x. Epub 2010 Mar 10.

Factors associated with physical activity among young adults with a disability.

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Department of Coaching and Psychology, Norwegian School of Sport Sciences, Oslo, Norway.


The purpose of this study was to examine: (1) total physical activity and (2) the relative importance of functioning and disability, environmental and personal factors for total physical activity among young adults with a disability. The International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health developed by the World Health Organization was used as a structural framework for a cross-sectional survey, based on a questionnaire. The population studied was 327 young adults (age 18-30) with a disability who were members of interest organizations for persons with disabilities. Using an adapted version of the self-administered short form of International Physical Activity Questionnaire (IPAQ), the sample reported some differences in physical activity related to the type and the onset of disability. Linear regression analyses revealed that personal factors demonstrated more power in explaining the variance in physical activity than both the environmental factors and factors related to functioning and disability. As for the able-bodied, intrinsic motivation and identity as an active person were the factors most strongly associated with physical activity behavior. This should have important consequences for how professionals try to motivate people with disabilities for physical activity, and how they plan and implement rehabilitation.

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