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CDC urges Americans with disabilities to get physically active

CDC urges Americans with disabilities to get physically active

| May 7, 2014 | Social Security Disability Benefits for Injuries |

Living with a disability is not easy. If the disability is significant enough to prevent a person from continuing to work, there are many practical and financial concerns to worry about, including applying for Social Security Disability benefits.

But general quality of life is also an issue. Americans have a hard time staying active and healthy as it is. When a disabling injury or illness gets in the way, a physically active lifestyle can seem like an overwhelming prospect. Yet according to health experts, regular physical activity may be one of the best health safeguards for disabled Americans but one of the least utilized.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently released a study showing that among disabled Americans between the ages of 18 and 64, approximately half are physically inactive. In addition to the 47 percent who said they do not engage in any aerobic physical activity, another 22 percent occasionally get active but not often enough.

Having a disability certainly seems like a valid justification for not exercising (at least compared to other Americans without a disability). But sedentary lifestyles are especially problematic for individuals with disabilities because they raise the risk of additional health problems. According to the CDC, Americans with disabilities who are inactive are 50 percent more likely than their active peers to suffer from a chronic health condition. Some of these include heart disease, stroke and diabetes.

Commenting on the importance of getting active, the director of the CDC said: “Physical activity is the closest thing we have to a wonder drug. Unfortunately, many adults with disabilities don’t get regular physical activity.”

The good news is that any amount of physical activity is better than none at all. The CDC says that adults should be aiming for a minimum of 2.5 hours of physical activity per week. The kinds of exercise and intensity levels will vary depending on a person’s age, overall health and the nature of their specific disability.

Source: Disability Scoop, “CDC: 1 In 2 With Disabilities Physically Inactive,” Michelle Diament, May 7, 2014