Studies have found that persons with disabilities are less likely to be enrolled in physical activity when compared to their general education peers. What’s more, there are findings that prove how such individuals are more likely to develop obesity and health-related conditions compared to their general peers. But it doesn’t have to be that way. That’s why our team at Hila has decided to list 3 ways how physical activity can benefit persons with disabilities.
1. Boosts Confidence
A comfortable learning environment guarantees success in physical activity. Behaviour is always a concern in any form of activity, since there’s plenty of movement and incidents can happen in rapid succession. Positive Behaviour Interventions and Support (PBIS) is a systematic, proven method to prevent negative behaviours and increases healthy interactions.
The approach may be abridged as “Prevent, Teach, Reinforce.” Behavioural expectations are explained from the beginning with supports such as instructions, hand gestures and pictures. Then the class material is taught through positive reinforcement. Eventually, the overall activity is repeated and practiced, where later, progress is evaluated.
2. Promotes Teamwork
Physical activities are the perfect opportunity for team building exercises. Instead of competitive games, the group can focus on creative games that only succeed when a whole team works together. This enhances inclusion, co-operation and most importantly, creates a sense of belonging.
3. Creates a sense of achievement
Everyone likes to experience that sense of triumph after accomplishing a target or doing something successfully. For this to happen, providing an accessible environment is indispensable.
Hard surfaces such as concrete and asphalt may be dangerous for individuals with dyspraxia, and softer surfaces such as sand or wood chips make it difficult to manoeuvre a wheelchair. This is why the overall area and its surfaces are chosen mindfully. Gym surfaces and outdoor mats are one way to make physical education more accessible.
It has been demonstrated repeatedly that physical activity enhances cognitive function and academic performance. Social skills and collaborative teamwork are also benefits of a balanced physical education program.
At Hila, we work tirelessly to create an environment where physical activity is not only fun and inclusive, but also accessible. This way, persons with disabilities are given that sense of achievement that not only benefits them physically, but gives them that confidence to conquer other aspects in life!