Physical inactivity is an important health concern for young people with links to diabetes, cardiovascular disease and cancer.
For young people with disabilities, the risks for and prevalence of physical inactivity are even higher due to social and environmental barriers. Nevertheless, physical activity is extremely important for these children to maintain/improve function and quality of life.
We are evaluating and developing new technologies that encourage enjoyable physical activity by overcoming established barriers to physical activity such as accessibility and social isolation. This line of research merges technology design (hardware and software), biomechanics, cardiopulmonary assessment with the psychology of behavior change and interaction design.
One way of motivating physical activity is through social interaction and inclusion. Technology has the potential to connect children and youth with disabilities and strengthen their social networks. To this purpose, we are exploring how technology can facilitate social support networks in physical activity promotion. Using a participatory design approach we are working to identify, formulate, and explore potential technology-based strategies that will foster a supportive social environment for physical activity. We want to know more about:
- Adolescents’ views on the role of social support networks in physical activity promotion.
- How can we design technologies that could help support these social networks and physical activity?
Families interested in taking part in research related to social participation, technology, and physical activity please click here