According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 36 million adults have some difficulty with physical functioning. Unfortunately, the unique needs of this population are typically ignored when it comes to physical health and wellness. Research has shown that individuals with physical disabilities are more likely to: experience delays in receiving health care, not engage in physical fitness, be overweight or obese, have high blood pressure, use tobacco, and experience psychological distress—all of which contribute to cardiovascular disease.
Additionally, various barriers make it difficult or impossible for many with disabilities to achieve optimal health and to take advantage of health promotion services available to people without disabilities. These barriers may be environmental, structural, and attitudinal in nature and include: lack of accessible transportation, lack of wheelchair accessible health facilities (e.g., fitness centers, gynecological offices, mammogram and bone mineral density testing centers, etc.), and lack of support related to health promotion and preventive screening from health care providers. Clearly, special attention must be focused on this group in order to decrease existing health disparities and ensure equality of health outcomes.
To help address the health disparities between those who do and do not have physical disabilities, Disability Partnerships is partnering with NBC4 to participate in the 26th annual Health & Fitness Expo in Washington, DC on Jan. 12 and 13, 2019. We will be promoting awareness of opportunities to improve health and wellness for those with physical disabilities. This has been a personal passion of mine. Trying to lose weight has always been difficult for me, but even more so since I became disabled. That's why I am so excited about the activities planned across the weekend. Those activities include adaptive Tai Chi, nutritional counseling, and both personal training and self-defense classes for persons with limited mobility. All activities will be conducted by community-based volunteers and are absolutely FREE.
Working together to improve the quality of life for persons with physical disabilities!