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ESSA launches eBook promoting movement for Aussies with disabilities

Boy during sensory integration therapy

Exercise and Sports Science Australia (ESSA) is marking International Day of People with Disabilities on December 3 2021, with the launch of their seventh free eBook, ‘Exercise for Disabilities’.

The eBook aims to help educate Australians living with a disability, as well as their carers, families and support workers, on how they can exercise safely to keep their body and mind happy and healthy.

“We know that people living with a disability are less likely to take part in regular physical activity than people without disability, yet they have similar needs when it comes to improving their health and preventing unnecessary chronic conditions,” says Anita Hobson-Powell, ESSA Chief Executive Officer.

“Whether you’re a person living with a disability or a carer or family member of a person living with a disability, exercise is not something that should be excluded from your life. Your disability should not be seen as a barrier for movement and physical activity.”

Although around 1 in 6 (18%) Australians – or about 4.4 million – have a disability, exercise provides a range of benefits, regardless of a person’s abilities. This includes:

  • managing or treating chronic conditions (e.g., arthritis, osteoporosis, type 2 diabetes),
  • improving stamina and muscle strength which can really help with some forms of disability, and
  • connecting with the community, helping to reduce negative stereotypes around people with disabilities

Importantly, an increase in physical activity can see those living with a disability gain the ability to maintain a higher level of independence, sense of freedom and quality of life.

The Exercise for Disabilities eBook covers a variety of disabilities that are common to Australians including Autism Spectrum Disorder, ADHD, Down syndrome, spinal cord injuries  Cerebral Palsy, Multiple Sclerosis, deafness and many more, as well as the role exercise can play in improving physical and mental health and helping with daily living.

This free to download resource has been compiled with the help of ESSA accredited exercise professionals and allied health professionals who work every day with people with a disability to provide not only exercise advice but also support and resources to improve their health and well-being.

“This eBook offers a central place to read about exercise and sport for a wide range of disabilities, written by experts in their field. It gives people with a disability (and their family and friends) an easy reference point to get them started and set them on a path to safely and effectively enjoying the benefits that sport and exercise can offer,” explains Dr Emma Beckman, ESSA National Board Director and para-sport researcher.

“At ESSA, we want to ensure every Australian is supported in their exercise journey. It’s important to seek out the right resources and experts who can provide you with assistance – you are not alone,” adds Anita.

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