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Access denied: the shortage of digitized fitness resources for people with disabilities

Stratton, Catherine and Kadakia, Shevali and Balikuddembe, Joseph K. and Peterson, Mark and Hajjioui, Abderrazak and Cooper, Rory and Hong, Bo-Young and Pandiyan, Uma and Muñoz-Velasco, Laura Paulina and Joseph, James and Krassioukov, Andrei and Tripathi, Deo Rishi and Tuakli-Wosornu, Yetsa A. (2020) Access denied: the shortage of digitized fitness resources for people with disabilities. Disability and Rehabilitation, 44 (13). pp. 3301-3303. ISSN 0963-8288. doi:10.1080/09638288.2020.1854873.

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Purpose: The COVID-19 pandemic has drastically impacted every aspect of life, including how people exercise and access fitness resources. Prior to COVID-19, the global burden of disease attributable to sedentary behavior disproportionately affected the health of people with disabilities (PWD). This pre-existing gap has only widened during COVID-19 due to limited disability-friendly digital exercise resources. The purpose of this work is to examine this gap in accessibility to digital fitness resources, and re-frame the notion of accessibility to suit the contemporary context. Materials and methods: Using machine learning, video titles/descriptions about home exercise ordered by relevance populated on YouTube between 1 January 2020 and 30 June 2020 were examined. Results: Using the search terms, “home exercise,” “home-based exercise,” “exercise no equipment,” “workout no equipment,” “exercise at home,” or “at-home exercise,” 700 videos ordered by relevance included 28 (4%) that were inclusive of participants with disabilities. Unfortunately, most digital fitness resources are therefore inaccessible to PWD. The global pause the pandemic has induced may be the right moment to construct a comprehensive, indexed digital library of home-based fitness video content for the disabled. There is a further need for more nuanced understandings of accessibility as technological advancements continue. Implications for Rehabilitation: Physical activity is incredibly important to the quality of life and health of all people. Physical activity levels, however, remain lower among persons with disabilities. Access to disability-friendly resources remains a challenge and worsened by the circumstances of COVID-19 due to an apparent lack of digital fitness resources for persons with disabilities. A broader and comprehensive definition of accessibility must recognize digital advances and access to physical activity for persons with disabilities must feature digital resources.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription
Stratton, Catherine0000-0002-1841-4565
Hajjioui, Abderrazak0000-0002-2311-5543
Krassioukov, Andrei0000-0002-0022-7972
Tuakli-Wosornu, Yetsa A.0000-0001-5557-6953
Additional Information:© 2020 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. Received 3 August 2020; Revised 18 November 2020; Accepted 19 November 2020; Published online: 11 Dec 2020. No potential conflict of interest was reported by the author(s).
Subject Keywords:Accessibility; inclusive; home exercise; people with disabilities; digital resources
Issue or Number:13
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20201215-075622224
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:Catherine Stratton, Shevali Kadakia, Joseph K. Balikuddembe, Mark Peterson, Abderrazak Hajjioui, Rory Cooper, Bo-Young Hong, Uma Pandiyan, Laura Paulina Muñoz-Velasco, James Joseph, Andrei Krassioukov, Deo Rishi Tripathi & Yetsa A. Tuakli-Wosornu (2022) Access denied: the shortage of digitized fitness resources for people with disabilities, Disability and Rehabilitation, 44:13, 3301-3303, DOI: 10.1080/09638288.2020.1854873
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:107080
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:15 Dec 2020 21:43
Last Modified:16 Aug 2022 21:19

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