Correlation Engine 2.0
Clear Search sequence regions

This study aims to create awareness, both within the scientific community and among providers of sports facilities, for individuals with impaired or reduced mobility, promoting the development of technical solutions that allow greater autonomy and social integration of people with disabilities. The purpose of this work is, on the one hand, to evaluate the accessibility of sports facilities for people with reduced mobility and, on the other hand, to investigate why this user group has such low rates of participation in sporting activities. Firstly, using the Portuguese norms and legislation transcribed from European Community directives, a check list was created comprising all the items that sports facilities should abide by in order to provide accessibility and safety to people with reduced mobility. Another questionnaire was designed aimed at this user group, with questions pertaining to their desire and ability to use sports facilities. This questionnaire was distributed in Portugal, in the greater metropolitan area of Porto, to users of Rehabilitation Centres and Physiotherapy Clinics. The results obtained from the check-list showed the compliances and non-compliances of the respective sports facilities, proving that many barriers preventing the participation of people with reduced mobility still exist. Twenty-four people with permanent impairment of the lower extremities (paraplegia) answered the questionnaire pertaining to the desire and ability to perform physical activity. Two individuals (8%) had sporting activities available to them in their area of residence and only five (21%) performed any physical activity. The main reason given for not taking part in any activity was the lack of adapted sports facilities. All the participants felt that taking part in sports is beneficial. The benefits stated were: general well-being and development of the psychomotor component (e.g. coordination, balance, body posture), of physical condition (e.g. strength, resistance, flexibility) and social integration and quality of life. Besides wellbeing, they also mentioned social interaction, a way of occupying their time and an escape from the routine as the main motives for which they would like to take up physical exercise.


Maria Manuel Sá, Rui Azevedo, Maria Cristina Martins, Osvaldo Machado, João Tavares. Accessibility of sports facilities for persons with reduced mobility and assessment of their motivation for practice. Work (Reading, Mass.). 2012;41 Suppl 1:2017-23

PMID: 22317013

View Full Text