Original Research

Profile and opinion of people with disability with respect to adapted physical activity participation in Ethiopia

Getachew K. Basha, Hendrik J. van Heerden
African Journal of Disability | Vol 9 | a657 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ajod.v9i0.657 | © 2020 Getachew K. Basha, Hendrik J. van Heerden | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 06 June 2019 | Published: 16 September 2020

About the author(s)

Getachew K. Basha, School of Health Science, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa; and, College of Natural and Computational Science, University of Wollega, Nekemte, South Africa
Hendrik J. van Heerden, School of Health Science, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa

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Background: Physical activity provides long-term health benefits for everyone and it is considered to play an important role in the deterioration of health predictors, such as overweight and the associated increase in cardiovascular and all-cause mortality.

Objective: To explore the profile and opinion of people with disability in Ethiopia, with respect to physical activity participation.

Method: The study comprised a questionnaire survey among male and female participants (N = 334) with visual and limb impairment, aged 15–50 years, living in urban and sub-urban areas of Ethiopia. The analyses entailed descriptive frequencies and percentages, with the chi-square statistic to test for significance between subsets of data at p ≤ 0.05.

Results: The profile showed participants were mostly male (n = 221, 66.2%; p ≤ 0.05), had completed secondary school (n = 204, 61.1%; p ≤ 0.05), were not formally employed with some being day-labourers (n = 92, 27.5%) and petty traders (n = 71, 21.3%). The majority (p ≤ 0.05) had limb disabilities (n = 190, 57%) as opposed to vision impairment. Only 10% (n = 34; p ≤ 0.0001) confirmed participation in physical activity. More than half (n = 175, 52.7%; p ≤ 0.0001) were unsure whether exercise improves health but the majority (n = 175, 52.4%; p ≤ 0.0001) did agree that participation in adapted physical activity requires better facilities.

Conclusion: Ethiopian persons with disabilities are physically inactive. There is need to raise awareness on the benefits of physical activity amongst people with disabilities and for disability friendly facilities to encourage physical activity.


disability; adapted physical activity; opinion; participation; Ethiopia


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