Exercise Psychology and Physical Disability

Jeffrey J. Martin

in The Oxford Handbook of Exercise Psychology

Published in print May 2012 | ISBN: 9780195394313
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Library of Psychology

Exercise Psychology and Physical Disability

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  • Psychology
  • Health Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology



Enhanced fitness can prevent or attenuate disability and associated secondary conditions. This chapter reviews the psychosocial research on physical activity (PA) engagement by people with physical disabilities. Included are sections addressing the psychosocial benefits of PA, levels of PA engagement, barriers to PA (e.g., medical, environmental, and social), and predictors of PA participation. The chapter incorporates subsections for children/adolescents and for adults. In addition, research findings are categorized as individual, social, or environmental. It is clear that barriers to PA can be grounded in individual-level considerations ranging from the nature of a person's disability and attendant factors (e.g., pain) to the individual's social networks, such as parents in the case of children and health personnel in the case of adults living in health care facilities. The built environment can also constrain PA.

Keywords: disability; physical activity; exercise; sport; health; adapted; social psychology

Article.  16538 words. 

Subjects: Psychology ; Health Psychology ; Clinical Psychology

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