The purpose of the current chapter is to present how physical activity (i.e., physical education, sport, exercise) may positively influence psycho-physical health and well-being of people with disabilities. In the sport sciences domain, terminology indicating different forms of disabilities (i.e., physical, sensory, and intellectual) varies among time, regions, and cultures: an historical review of definitions of disability in physical activity is presented. Although exercise and sport participation can be a vehicle for both physical and mental health enhancement, individuals with disabilities have increased rates of sedentary behavior, overweight, and obesity if compared with individuals without disabilities. Additionally, individuals with disabilities often have high levels of loneliness, depression, and reduced social support. Hence, sport can be a potential educative setting for including individuals with disabilities: social perceptions of disability in sports are discussed. Media content and representation contribute to shape the frame in which disability is constructed and viewed in contemporary society: studies examining the relationship between the media and the disability are presented, by considering media content (e.g., attitudes, representations, stereotypes towards disability), and media policies (e.g., language addressed to disability, absence of disability theme in the scheduling). The necessity to consider inclusion of individuals with disabilities in physical education, sport, and exercise is discussed as a priority to achieve. A brief historical overview of disability sports (i.e., Paralympic and Special Olympics games) is presented. Finally, some practical implications of the body of knowledge we review are discussed: recommendations are mostly geared to teachers, parents, and coaches to appreciate challenges of inclusion and benefits of physical activity for individuals with disabilities.
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