Sport can play a key role in the lives of people with and without disabilities. Find out more in this section on the benefits of sport and adapted physical activity (APA) as well as the opportunities and barriers people with disabilities face when participating in these activities.

Sport can have a positive impact on the lives of people with disabilities but many face challenges to getting involved in sport, especially in developing countries.

Sport can play a key role in the lives and communities of people with disabilities, the same as it can for people without a disability.

There is a wealth of evidence to support participation in sport and physical activity for people with a disability concerning trends, barriers and benefits of participation. Over the past three decades, numerous studies have revealed that physical activity and sport participation result in improved functional status and quality of life among people with selected disabilities.

Improvements in physical and mental wellbeing

Scientific research has been conducted across disability groups that reveal participation in sport and physical activity leads to improved levels of physical health and well-being. 

Sport and physical activity has also been shown to improve physical fitness and general mood in psychiatric patients with depressive and anxiety disorders. Additionally, sport and physical activity has been linked to improvements in self-confidence, social awareness and self-esteem and can contribute to empowerment of people with disabilities.

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