* This post is written by a guest blogger - it is not sponsored. *
The DoMore study aims to find new ways to help children and young people with long-term disabilities, who are unable to walk, to move more in their day to day lives. Young people aged 12 – 25 who use a wheelchair, their family members, and professionals, are using a variety of online workshops and virtual focus groups to generate data. Why? Because there is no evidence-based treatments, tools or programmes to help young people with disabilities to spend less time sitting or lying still. Meaning the tool we are developing will be the first of its kind.
We started our co-design earlier this year. The first stage focuses on understanding whether it’s important to young people with disabilities to spend more time moving, why it’s hard for them, and what makes it easier. We’ve had fantastic contributions from some children and young people, but we would really like to get more people involved!
Not only can increased movement improve both physical and mental health, but it also reduces the chance of obtaining additional health problems such as obesity, high blood pressure, or type II diabetes. Best of all, it may enable some children and young people with disabilities to become less dependent on the use of a wheelchair. Whilst also making things easier for their Carers, because there is less deterioration in the health of the person they are supporting.
With this in mind, it’s crazy to think that this demographic never seems to be included in the current fitness trends and technologies. So let us know if you or someone you know would be interested in taking part in the study? Because without the views of those who have experience in handling or using a wheelchair, this study will not be able to progress to its full potential. Simply get in touch via the links listed below!
The study is being lead by Marilyn Bradbury and is part of her Clinical Doctoral Research Fellowship, funded by the National Institute of Health Research. She explains what inspired her to start the project:
“Whilst working with young people with disabilities in the community as a paediatric physiotherapist, I’ve always worked with them and their families to maximise the time they are able to move around for each day. However, when they are in busy home, educational or work environments, it can be difficult for young people and those who support them to focus on that.I hope that the tool we are designing together will help them to find more opportunities to move more and enjoy making the most of them.”