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NCHPAD - Building Healthy Inclusive Communities

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Conclusion


The fitness levels of adults with developmental disabilities have not changed very much over the last quarter-century and still remain at the low end of the continuum. As we prepare for the next millennium, we must reverse this sedentary lifestyle and empower persons with developmental disabilities to become more physically active and attain a higher level of fitness. The consequences of inactivity will place a severe burden on their health as they reach older adulthood.

It is an ideal time for professionals, staff and caregivers to merge their efforts with the physical activity movement that is sweeping this nation, which has been fueled by the Surgeon General's Office with the release of the 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines from the Department of Health and Human Services. We must aggressively promote health and fitness among persons with developmental disabilities. If we give this matter as much as attention as we have given and continue to give the deinstitutionalization movement, I am confident that we will begin to see a gradual improvement in health and fitness among persons with developmental disabilities. As Thomas Jefferson once said: "Without health there is no happiness. And attention to health, then, should take the place of every other object." It is my hope that this paper will encourage others in the field to promote the fitness agenda among the community of persons with developmental disabilities.


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