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Infographic. Physical activity for disabled adults
  1. Brett Smith1,
  2. Nathalie Kirby1,
  3. Bethany Skinner1,
  4. Leanne Wightman2,
  5. Rebekah Lucas1,
  6. Charlie Foster3
  1. 1 School of Sport, Exercise and Rehabilitation Sciences, University of Birmingham, Birmingham, UK
  2. 2 Disability Rights UK, London, UK
  3. 3 Centre for Exercise, Nutrition and Health Sciences, University of Bristol, Bristol, UK
  1. Correspondence to Professor Brett Smith, School of Sport, Exercise and Rehabilitation Sciences, University of Birmingham, Birmingham B15 2TT, UK; smithbs{at}

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Despite the benefits of physical activity, in the UK many disabled adults live insufficiently active lifestyles. They are also more likely to be inactive when compared with non-disabled people. For example, recently it was reported that 43% of disabled people did less than 30 min per week of activity, while for non-disabled it was 21%.1 Given the health and economic implications of inactivity, promoting physical activity to disabled adults and reducing participation inequalities is a public health priority.

In 2011, the UK Chief Medical Officers’ (CMOs) physical activity guidelines were produced for four age groups, from under 5s to older adults. However, with sparse evidence on physical activity for those with disability available, the guidelines omitted guidance for this group. In 2018, Public Health England (PHE) tasked us to review the evidence and, if sufficient, co-produce evidence-based recommendations about physical activity and disability in an appropriate format.

The review established various benefits of physical activity for disabled adults, such as improved quality of life.2 Based on the evidence, it was recommended that disabled …

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  • Contributors We can confirm that we followed the ICMJE recommendations that state authorship credit requires substantial contributions to the conception or design of the work, or the acquisition, analysis or interpretation of data, and drafting the work or revising it critically for important intellectual content. Final approval of the version submitted/published has been agreed by all authors.

  • Funding This study was funded by Public Health England.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent Not required.

  • Ethics approval University of Birmingham.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.