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Physical Education and Quality of Life

Physical Education and Quality of Life

The professionals working in the field of physical education and health recognized that physical activity is an essential resource for the maintenance of our vitality and independence.

An active lifestyle increases the global wellness on all of its five components (physical, intellectual, emotional, social, and spiritual):

  • Physical and mental health
  • Posture and better balance
  • Self-esteem
  • Abilities
  • Relaxation
  • Socialisation

The Elderly and Active Living

The Elderly and Active Living

Knowing that 60% of the elderly population are inactive and that an active lifestyle is cardinal to good health, it is essential to encourage the elderly to participate in regular physical activity. We must provide the elderly with physical activity programs that are stimulating and demanding on a personal level. In order to achieve high quality in physical activity programs and the services provided to the elderly, we must consider the principles of personal satisfaction, of freedom of choice, the respect of risks, and to cater the activity to the age of the participants.

According to the Canadian Physical Activity Guide to Healthy Active Living for Older Adults, physical activity provides several advantages:

  • Heart diseases
  • Obesity
  • Blood pressure
  • Adult (Type II) diabetes
  • Osteoporosis
  • Stroke
  • Depression
  • Colon cancer
  • Premature death

Special Populations and Active Living

Special Populations and Active Living

The disabled persons must move regularly to stay healthy. To attain this goal, they must have easy access to physical activity and other programs offered by the community.

It is thus essential for the well-being of the disabled persons that they are not victims of discrimination based on their deficiencies or their functional restrictions. On the contrary, activities must be adapted to the functional characteristics of the persons in order for their integration to be maximal. For the pleasure of the participants, we must respect the nature and the essential characteristics of these activities.

On the other hand, the disabled persons must be able to freely choose their leisures and physical activities that they want to participate in. The range of adapted activities offered in the community must be large enough in order for the disabled persons to practice a physical activity fulfilling their needs. They must have the possibility to choose relaxing, entertaining, creating, and learning activities, etc.

Furthermore, the disabled persons must be accepted in the same places, on the same sites, and in the same activities as high-able body persons. A change in mentality to respect differences is essential to reducing the perception of the disabled. This change facilitates physical activity participation that responds better to the needs and aspirations of the disabled persons.

While assuring the continuity of existing services, we must encourage through policies and budget allocation, the integration of people with functional limitations to the same structures and programs as the rest of the population, by assuring them the appropriate support.

This way, the disabled persons are able to live an active life.

* The information used to write this article was taken from a book by Clermont Simard, Fernand Caron, and Kristina Skrotzky, Activité physique adaptée, Gaétan Morin (editions), 1987.

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