ATLANTA, May 6 (UPI) -- Nearly half of U.S. adults with disabilities who are able to do aerobic physical activity do not, increasing their risks of heart disease, diabetes or cancer.
A Vital Signs report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found 82 percent of U.S. adults ages 18-64 with disabilities were more likely to be physically active if their doctor recommended it, but only about 44 who saw a doctor in the past year were advised to increase physical activity.
Adults with disabilities who do not get any aerobic physical activity are 50 percent more likely than their more active peers to have chronic diseases such as cancer, diabetes, stroke, or heart disease.
“Physical activity is the closest thing we have to a wonder drug,” Dr. Tom Frieden said in a statement.
“Unfortunately, many adults with disabilities don’t get regular physical activity. That can change if doctors and other healthcare providers take a more active role helping their patients with disabilities develop a physical fitness plan that’s right for them.”
The CDC analyzed data from the 2009 to 2012 National Health Interview Survey involving physical activity levels.
The Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans recommends all adults, including those with disabilities, get at least 2.5 hours of moderate aerobic physical activity each week, Frieden said.