Association of Physical Activity to the Risk of Obesity in Adults with Physical Disabilities

Masaru Teramoto*, Timothy J. Bungum, Gerald E. Landwer and Dale R. Wagner

Association of Physical Activity to the Risk of Obesity in Adults with Physical Disabilities.

Physical activity plays a major role in reducing the risk of obesity and diseases associated with obesity. Currently, it is recommended that people should engage in at least 150 minutes
per week of moderate-intensity physical activity or 75 minutes per week of vigorous-intensity physical activity to gain substantial health benefits. However, due to limited mobility and functional capacity, adults with physical disabilities cannot engage in physical activity in the same manner as people without disabilities can. According to Healthy People 2010,13 56% of people with
disabilities report no leisure-time physical activity compared to 36% of people without disabilities. To help those with physical disabilities engage in physical activity, adapted physical activity
programs are available, so that people with various disabilities can enjoy and compete together.

BMI (kg/m2) classifies individuals into different weight categories and is widely used in epidemiological studies. The World Health Organization14 defines BMI of less than 18.50 kg/
m2 as underweight, between 18.50 and 24.99 kg/m2 as normal range, greater than or equal to 25.00 kg/m2 as overweight and greater than or equal to 30.00 kg/m2 as obese.

In fact, a decrease in muscle/ fat-free mass and an increase in fat mass after SCI have been
frequently observed.33,34 Furthermore, recumbent length, often used instead of height when individuals with physical disabilities cannot stand and maintain straight posture, is not likely to
provide accurate BMI values. Hence, it is not clear whether the BMI standards used for the general population should also be used for adults with physical disabilities.

Obes Res Open J. 2015; 1(1): 16-23. doi: 10.17140/OROJ-1-104