Disasters disrupt people’s ability to be physically active. Despite the well-known health benefits of physical activity, there is limited understanding of how disasters may affect those who experience constraints to being active, such as people with disabilities. This study explored how one major disaster, the COVID-19 pandemic, affected people with disabilities’ participation in leisure-time physical activity (LTPA) and their mental health and well-being. An online survey was completed by 959 participants. Latent class analysis based on four questions asking the impact of COVID-19 on LTPA was used to identify 4 distinct classes: ‘Heavily Impacted’, ‘Adapted’, ‘Resilient’, and ‘Radically Changed’. Disability categorisation, veteran status, and gender predicted latent class membership. Results from multinomial regression revealed that the Heavily Impacted members reported significantly lower mean scores for life satisfaction, quality of life, and general health, along with poorer mean scores for loneliness than other groups. In contrast, the Resilient members reported significantly higher mean scores of quality of life and general health than other groups. Qualitative data analysis further suggests that respondents participated in myriad LTPA modes that included somewhat technology adoption. People with disabilities’ LTPA was negatively affected by the pandemic, with those most heavily impacted having poorer mental health indices.
- Adaptive sport
- online programming
- military veterans
- constraints negotiation theory
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Geography, Planning and Development
- Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management