Amy P. Molstad1, Anna M. Gorczyca1, Anna M. Rice1, Joseph E. Donnelly1, FACSM, & Richard A. Washburn1, FACSM

1University of Kansas Medical Center, Kansas City, Kansas

PURPOSE: Adults with mobility-related disabilities (MRDs) and obesity are less likely to participate in health promoting physical activity (PA) due to barriers such as inaccessible recreational facilities, lack of accessible exercise equipment and poor infrastructure for PA. However, it is unknown whether PA and barriers to PA differ by ambulatory status in adults with MRDs. This analysis compared PA and barriers to PA at baseline among adults with MRDs and overweight/obesity enrolled in an 18-mo. weight management intervention between participants who used a wheelchair as their primary mode of locomotion vs. those who did not. METHODS: Participants completed self-report questionaries including demographics, wheelchair usage, PA (Physical Activity and Disability Survey [PADS], and barriers to exercise (Barriers to Exercise for Disabled Persons scale [BEDP]). Chi-square and t-tests were used to compare differences between wheelchair users and ambulatory participants on categorical and continuous variables, respectively. Logistic regression was used to estimate impact of ambulatory status and sex on baseline PA. RESULTS: Participants (n=127, 28 wheelchair users, 99 ambulatory) were ~58 years old, 80% non-Hispanic White, and 80% female, and ~65% had a college education. The only significant difference in demographic characteristics was a higher proportion of females in the ambulatory (85.9%) compared with the wheelchair user group (57.1%) (p<0.01). Participation in PA was higher in the wheelchair user (66.7%) compared with the ambulatory group independent of sex (36.7%, p<0.01). Both ambulatory and wheelchair users reported lack of convenient facilities, fatigue, and impairment as the most common barriers to PA. Wheelchair users reported no one to help and lack of time while ambulatory participants reported embarrassment about appearance as barriers to PA. No differences in the participation of indoor and outdoor household activities were found between wheelchair users and ambulatory participants. CONCLUSION: PA programming specific to adults with MRDs should address pertinent barriers that may differ by ambulatory status. Understanding the factors limiting PA participation is essential to increasing PA in adults with MRDs.

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS: This study was supported by the National Institutes of Health grant R01DK116669 and the Human Energy Balance Core at the Kansas Center for Metabolism and Obesity Research (P20GM144269).

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