In typically developing children, participation in sports has been proven to be positively correlated to both physical and psychosocial health outcomes. In children and adolescents with a physical disability or chronic disease participation in both recreational and competitive sports is often reduced, while for this population an active lifestyle may be even more important in reaching optimal levels of physical and psychosocial health. Therefore, the aim of the Health in Adapted Youth Sports (HAYS) Study is to determine both negative and positive effects of sports on children and adolescents with a chronic disease or physical disability.
In this cross-sectional study differences will be compared in regards to physical and psychosocial health, cognitive functioning, school performance, daily physical activity and injuries between children and adolescents with a chronic disease or physical disability who participate in sports and those who do not. Children and adolescents, both ambulatory and wheelchair dependent, in the age of 10–19 years with a physical disability or chronic disease will be included. “Sports” is defined as participation in an organized sport at least two times a week for a duration of 3 months or more prior to the assessment. Parametric and non-parametric statistics will be used to determine the differences between the two groups.
This study provides insight in the effects of sports participation in relation to health, psychosocial functioning, physical activity and school performance in children and adolescents (10–19 years) with a chronic disease or physical disability. Results will guide healthcare professionals working with these children to better guide this population in reaching optimal levels of health and physical activity levels.