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Physical activity for adults with disabilities: designing a South African infographic to communicate guidelines
  1. Rowena Naidoo1,
  2. Brett Smith2,
  3. Charlie Foster3,
  4. Verusia Chetty4
  1. 1 Discipline of Biokinetics, Exercise and Leisure Sciences, University of KwaZulu-Natal, College of Health Sciences, Durban, South Africa
  2. 2 Sport and Exercise Sciences, Durham University, Durham, UK
  3. 3 Centre for Exercise, Nutrition and Health Sciences, University of Bristol Centre for Exercise Nutrition and Health Sciences, Bristol, UK
  4. 4 Discipline of Physiotherapy, University of KwaZulu-Natal, College of Health Sciences, Durban, South Africa
  1. Correspondence to Professor Rowena Naidoo, Biokinetics, Exercise and Leisure Sciences, University of KwaZulu-Natal, College of Health Sciences, Durban, South Africa; naidoor3{at}

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Participation in physical activity for people with disabilities has varied and substantial benefits. However, many people with disabilities are insufficiently active.1 The gap in activity has also widened during the COVID-19 pandemic2 exacerbating health inequalities and causing a growing public health concern.

International guidelines

Globally there has been an increasing focus on the importance of national policy to address population levels of physical inactivity and reduce health inequalities. One of the cornerstones of policy, is national guidelines on physical activity.3–5 Recent UK Chief Medical Officers physical activity guidelines for disabled people recommended performing strength activities on two or more days a week and at least 150 min of moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity each week for substantial health gains.1 In addition the UK guidelines co-produced physical messages with people with disabilities and called for the use of inclusive communication of guidelines in future work.1 6 7 The new WHO global guidelines for physical activity and disability4 echoed the UK guidelines, providing support for its recommendations for physical activity for disabled adults and inclusive communication.

Effective translation

To maximise the impact of national and global physical activity guidelines, and reduce participation inequalities, inclusive, pragmatic and efficient communication is vital.1 6 Infographics are an effective way to help to do this.

However, the UK infographic8 (online …

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  • Twitter @R0wena28, @FosteratBristol

  • Contributors The infographic idea was conceived by RN and then developed by all authors; RN and VC produced the initial infographic, which was then revised by all authors; all authors approved the final version of the infographic.

  • Funding This study was funded by National Research Fund, South Africa (Grant number: 117535). The research reported in this publication was supported by the Fogarty International Centre (FIC), National Institutes of Health (NIH) Common Fund, Office of Strategic Coordination, Office of the Director (CF/OSC/OD/NIH), Office of AIDS Research, Office of the Director (OAR/OD/NIH), National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH/NIH), award number D43TW010131.

  • Competing interests None declared.

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

  • Supplemental material This content has been supplied by the author(s). It has not been vetted by BMJ Publishing Group Limited (BMJ) and may not have been peer-reviewed. Any opinions or recommendations discussed are solely those of the author(s) and are not endorsed by BMJ. BMJ disclaims all liability and responsibility arising from any reliance placed on the content. Where the content includes any translated material, BMJ does not warrant the accuracy and reliability of the translations (including but not limited to local regulations, clinical guidelines, terminology, drug names and drug dosages), and is not responsible for any error and/or omissions arising from translation and adaptation or otherwise.