Physical Activity Among Young Children With Disabilities: A Systematic Review

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Leah G. Taylor Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, University of Western Ontario, London, ON, Canada

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Leigh M. Vanderloo School of Occupational Therapy, University of Western Ontario, London, ON, Canada
ParticipACTION, Toronto, ON, Canada

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Julia Yates Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, University of Western Ontario, London, ON, Canada

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Rebecca L. Bassett-Gunter School of Kinesiology and Health Sciences, York University, Toronto, ON, Canada

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Meagan Stanley Department of Western Libraries, University of Western Ontario, London, ON, Canada

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Patricia Tucker School of Occupational Therapy, University of Western Ontario, London, ON, Canada
Children’s Health Research Institute, London, ON, Canada

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Physical activity (PA) in the early years is foundational for growth and development and associated with numerous health benefits. However, the prevalence of PA participation among the pediatric population with disabilities is less clear. This systematic review aimed to synthesize the existing literature on PA levels of young children (0–5.99 years) with disabilities. Empirical quantitative studies were collected from seven databases and reference hand searching; 21 studies were included in the review. PA levels varied widely based on disability type and measurement strategies, but overall, PA levels were low. Future research should address the underrepresentation of measurement and reporting of the PA levels of young children with disabilities.

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