The Bsport+ consortium of 9 countries and 10 partners performed an in-depth assessment on the PwDs habits and lifestyles within their individual targeted communities. Desk research and primary data collected via online surveys were used to gain a comprehensive understanding of targeted PwDs communities’ lifestyle, needs and sport participation.
The performed extensive literature review empathise that PwDs are willing to adopt a healthy lifestyle but they faced many internal and external barriers in doing so. Most frequent internal barriers are lack of understanding and support which makes them feel uncomfortable. Consequently, PwDs demonstrate a low self-esteem, motivation and participation in different spheres of life, including sport activities. Other factors inhibiting PwDs’ active participation in sport activities are financial constraints, community support and accessibility to sport facilities, lack of information and/or legislative support, etc.
The collected primary data using online survey tool support this literature findings and non-significant variances were observed across countries. Most of the surveyed PwDs stressed that the main factors preventing them from active sport participation are lack of time, family and friends’ influence, appropriate facilities, transportation problems, financial constraints, lack of interest, lack of confidence, health condition, etc. According to the survey results, family and friends’ support, personal assistive devices, facilities and infrastructure and the role of the organisations and policies can make easier their participation to sport activities. Most of the respondents are motivated to practice sport activities and many of them do at least one of the following physical activities: leisurely walking, bicycling, skating, swimming, light gardening and housework, dancing or other moderate exercises, running, weight training, etc.
Lastly, the current COVID-19 pandemic situation has challenged the life of surveyed PwDs at both levels: psychologically and physically and now more than even we must redesign tools to do not make desiquailities even higher.