The Effects of Societal and Structural Barriers on Participation among Individuals with Physical Disabilities

Nathan Perkins*

The Effects of Societal and Structural Barriers on Participation among Individuals with Physical Disabilities.
Despite the recommended guidelines, several individuals with physical disabilities do not participate in regular physical activities. Prior research suggests that several societal and structural barriers in sport and exercise environments often negatively affect individuals with physical disabilities. Thus, it is essential for family members, healthcare practitioners, rehabilitation/recreational teams, and community leaders to encourage individuals with physical disabilities to conquer barriers that restrict participation.
If individuals with physical disabilities cannot meet the recommended guidelines, they are encouraged to avoid inactivity and participate in a regular activity
according to their abilities. Also, before participating in physical activities, individuals with physical disabilities should consult with a doctor about their abilities. Despite the physical activity guidelines, only 38% of individuals with physical disabilities participate in an aerobic physical activity program than 54% of individuals without physical disabilities

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), as cited by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), disability consists of three dimensions: impairment, activity limitation, and
participation restrictions. Impairment involves an individual’s body structure and function as well as the mental functioning. Also, impairments can be structural in that problems exist involving internal or external parts of the body. Furthermore, impairments may be functional in that an individual may experience a partial or complete body part’s function. Activity limitation involves a
person’s difficulty in seeing, hearing, walking, or problem-solving. Lastly, participation restrictions consist of problems in doing normal daily activities, participating in social and recreational activities, and acquiring health-related services.

Sport Exerc Med Open J. 2020; 6(2): 51-55. doi: 10.17140/SEMOJ-6-181