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U.S. Physical Activity Para Report Card for Children and Adolescents With Disabilities

Heidi Stanish, Samantha M. Ross, Byron Lai, Justin A. Haegele, Joonkoo Yun, and Sean Healy

The U.S. Report Card on Physical Activity for Children and Youth has tracked 10 physical activity (PA) indicators common to the Active Healthy Kids Global Matrix since 2014. This article expands on the U.S. report cards by presenting PA indicator assessments among children and adolescents with disabilities. Grades for indicators were assigned based on a search of peer-reviewed articles presenting nationally representative data. The Global Matrix 3.0 benchmarks and grading framework guided the process. Grades for overall PA, sedentary behaviors, organized sports, and school were F, D+, D+, and D, respectively. Insufficient evidence existed to assign grades to the remaining six indicators. There is a need in the United States for targeted PA promotion strategies that are specific to children and adolescents with disabilities. Without a commitment to this effort across sectors and settings, the low grades identified in this para report card are expected to remain.

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Research Trends and Recommendations for Physical Activity Interventions Among Children and Youth With Disabilities: A Review of Reviews

Byron Lai, Eunbi Lee, Mayumi Wagatsuma, Georgia Frey, Heidi Stanish, Taeyou Jung, and James H. Rimmer

This scoping review synthesized reviews of physical activity (PA) interventions for children and youth with disabilities to highlight promising elements of effective interventions, research methodological limitations, and research priorities. Twenty studies were eligible and underwent three rounds of review by an expert panel. Rich and diverse PA programs derived potential short-term benefits toward health, function, and PA. Strategies to increase sample sizes included embedding programs in the community and using information communication technology to deliver exercise programs. Methodological limitations of interventions included a lack of generalizability, transferability, and scientific rigor. Three research priorities were identified: develop and report precision-based intervention strategies, identify strategies that promote both long-term and sustainable PA participation and outcomes, and develop scalable interventions and recruitment strategies. If addressed, these areas could enhance the impact of PA interventions for children and youth with disabilities.

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Characteristics of Adults With Neurologic Disability Recruited for Exercise Trials: A Secondary Analysis

Byron Lai, Katie Cederberg, Kerri A. Vanderbom, C. Scott Bickel, James H. Rimmer, and Robert W. Motl

This review examined demographic and clinical characteristics of participants from exercise trials in 3 neurologic disability conditions (multiple sclerosis, spinal cord injury, and traumatic brain injury) and compared these data with population-based statistics. The authors included 75 published studies from 2006 to 2016: 53 studies for multiple sclerosis (n = 2,034), 14 for spinal cord injury (n = 302), and 8 for traumatic brain injury (n = 272). Pooled data resembled some heterogeneous aspects of population data sets. However, many characteristics were not reported; samples were small and predominantly White, and 48.1% of the people screened were excluded. Thus, findings from these studies may not be translatable across the range of people with these three conditions, which warrant efforts to target the inclusion of underrepresented subgroups in future exercise trials.