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Dariusz Boguszewski, Jakub Grzegorz Adamczyk, Andrzej Ochal, Beata Kurkowska and Krzysztof Kamiński

Abstract

Introduction: A purpose of the work was diagnosis of chosen lifestyle elements of disabled athletes, compared to inactive disabled persons, characterized by similar kind and the degree of disability.

Material and methods: The questionnaire survey was conducted on 150 disabled persons (31 women; 119 men), from among 98 were active athletes (wheelchair fencing n=32; wheelchair rugby n=31; table tennis n=14; basketball n=9 and other disciplines n=12). Totally 52 inactive disabled persons were in a control group. Juczyński’s Inventory of Healthy Behavior (IHB - where health behaviors are being judged in four categories: eating habits, preventive behaviors, the psychological attitude and health practice) and an author's questionnaire about lifestyle were used as a research tool.

Results: Results show that physically active persons are paying the greater attention to healthy lifestyle than non-active. The total rate of health behaviors (HBR) was higher in the group of athletes (p=0.071). The biggest differences (p=0.000) were noted in eating habits and the smallest in preventive behaviors (p=0.408). Disabled athletes more easily cope with typical problems of the everyday life (like architectural barriers, social isolation). Also they have more often undertake paid work and take part in other fields (culture, tourism).

Conclusions: During examination a positive effect of the practicing sport on health behaviors, the frame of mind, self-assessment and participation in the social and professional life was proved. So it seems reasonable to promote sport and physical activity among disables people.