Helping Canadians with Mental Health Disabilities Get Physically Active: Tip Sheets for Intermediaries
These tip sheets are designed to provide general information in support of Canada's Physical Activity Guidelines, developed by the Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology. Concepts outlined should not be used as strict definitions or rules, but merely as guidelines. Every person is unique. Remember, participants themselves are your number one resource when trying to ensure inclusiveness in physical activity.
Research shows that proportionately less Canadians with disabilities lead an active lifestyle due to a variety of factors including economic disparity, lack of access to transportation,intimidation, and negative attitudes or lack of knowledge on the part of physical activity providers.
For Canadians with a disability, regular physical activity may be even more important than it is for the rest of the population. For a person with a disability, an active lifestyle can open doors to increased health, social inclusion and self-empowerment - doors which might otherwise remain closed. Access to physical activity can eliminate the likelihood of acquiring secondary health conditions like diabetes, high blood pressure or heart disease. Being active builds resiliency and can provide an all-important outlet for a person with a disability.
The tip sheets were developed by the Active Living Alliance for Canadians with a Disability (ALACD), which operated until the end of October 2015. The ALACD promoted, supported and enabled Canadians with disabilities to lead active, healthy lives. It provided nationally coordinated leadership, support, encouragement, promotion and information to facilitate healthy, active living opportunities for Canadians of all abilities across all settings and environments.