Examining the effects of new members with a physical disability who join an adapted fitness centre: Preliminary results


People with physical disabilities typically have low levels of physical activity and participation in activities of daily living (ADL). Research shows that physical activity participation can help them increase their level of function, participation in ADL and health-related quality of life (HRQL). The purpose of this study was to preliminary investigate whether members who join an adapted physical activity program improved physical activity levels and participation in ADLs by comparing rates prior to after they begin the program. Using a multiple baseline design, participants (N = 8) completed questionnaires approximately four weeks before starting their program (T1), the day before they began (T2), and two months after starting (T3). We hypothesize no changes between T1 and T2, but improvements between T2 and T3. Cohen's d and descriptive statistics were used for physical activity and ADL data, respectively. A large decrease in physical activity was found between T1 and T2 (d = -0.96), followed by a small increase between T2 and T3 (d = 0.22). Regarding ADLs, participants reported that engaging in the program improved their ADL related to maintaining physical health (Mean = 4.13/5) and general mobility (Mean = 3.87/5). Joining an adapted physical activity program appears to have its expected benefits on new members. However, our sample size is still too small to draw any firm conclusions.

Acknowledgments: Our funding comes from a REPAR-OPHQ partnership grant. We would also like to thank Viomax for their help in the realization of this study.