New Physical Activity Guidelines for Disabled Children and Young People

The UK’s Chief Medical Officers (CMOs) have issued new guidelines that say disabled children and young people should be getting 20 minutes of exercise a day and doing strength and balance activities three times a week. 

The guidelines, which are the first of their kind for disabled children and young people, will support the improvement of physical and mental health throughout life. These guidelines will be important not just for the sport and physical activity sector, but for the wider system involved with the health and wellbeing of disabled children and young people. 

“The guidance is clear that physical activity is as beneficial for disabled children and young people as it is for other children.” 

Child in wheelchair

Tim Hollingsworth Chief executive, Sport England:

The research shows that giving children and young people positive experiences of sport and physical activity is the key to building the foundation of lasting positive relationship with physical activity. That’s why the guidelines are presented in an infographic that was designed in cooperation with disabled children and young people and their families. 

The infographic is the first of its kind to be co-produced with disabled children, disabled young people, their families and wider support systems, and so this resource is not only vital in fostering a more inclusive approach to promoting sports and physical activity, but also sets the standard for how research and the development of guidance, particularly those that are relevant to underserviced groups, should be actively shaped by their insights, experiences, and knowledge.  

Infographic can be found here. 

Rebecca Evans from Living Sport commented: 

“It is fantastic to have guidelines published that are specific to disabled children and young people and highlighting the many benefits of being active and helps show that any activity can be good activity, children, young people and their families should look at different ways of getting active that suits them” 

“There are lots of ways to get active and take steps to achieving the 20 mins of exercise a day and strength and balance activities 3 times a week. One of these is to join a local club or activity group. The Living Sport Inclusive Activity map which now features over 200 activities across the county for all ages, is a great place to start to get ideas and make connections. Start your active journey today and visit the map which can be found on our website. 

To read more about the guidelines and how they were developed click here.

To read more on Sport England response click here.  

Following the announcement of the new guidelines, Activity Alliance and partners have also released series of inclusive PE activity cards for teachers and school staff. The cards are jam-packed with fun games and activities, and support teachers to ensure their PE sessions are inclusive and accessible for all school pupils. To download the cards and find out more click here. 

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