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Original Research

Open Access

Participation in physical activity among people with disabilities during the COVID-19 pandemic in South Korea

  • Changok Cho1,†
  • Wonsang Shin1,†
  • Jungjun Lim2,*,
  • Joon-Sik Kim3,*,

1Planning and Administration Office, Korea Paralympic Committee (KPC), 05540 Seoul, Republic of Korea

2Department of Physical Education, College of Education, Seoul National University, 08826 Seoul, Republic of Korea

3Department of Adapted physical Education, Baekseok University, 31065 Chungcheongnam-do, Republic of Korea

DOI: 10.31083/j.jomh1804098 Vol.18,Issue 4,April 2022 pp.1-7

Submitted: 15 October 2021 Accepted: 13 April 2022

Published: 30 April 2022

*Corresponding Author(s): Jungjun Lim E-mail:
*Corresponding Author(s): Joon-Sik Kim E-mail:

† These authors contributed equally.


Background: Quarantine, social distancing, and restricted movement and social interaction due to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) have been reported reduce physical activity across several countries. However, few studies have evaluated the changes in physical activity patterns before and after COVID-19 among people with disabilities. Therefore, this study aimed to evaluate how physical activity participation has changed during COVID-19 among people with disabilities in South Korea. Methods: This study was conducted among 3871 persons with disabilities, aged 10–69 years, who participated in the 2020 Sports Survey for the Disabled conducted by the Korean Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism in March 2020. This survey collected data regarding participants’ demographic characteristics (age, gender, etc.) and disability along with the type of physical activity (intensity, frequency, time, etc.), method (facilities, home training, classes/lectures, club), and type (swimming, resistance training, walking and jogging, etc.) of participation in physical activity before and after COVID-19. A chi-squared frequency test was performed to confirm the difference in the ratio of participation frequency, time, intensity, and method and type of physical activity before and after COVID-19. Results: After the COVID-19 outbreak, the frequency, duration, and intensity of physical activity of people with disabilities were reduced compared to before the COVID-19 pandemic. Additionally, in terms of physical activity participation method, attendance of classes, lectures, and clubs decreased, while physical activity at home increased. In participation types of physical activity, participation in walking and jogging, gymnastics, mountain climbing, and cycling increased, whereas swimming, weight training, and other activities decreased. Conclusion: Public health guidelines and social distancing due to COVID-19 have reduced the frequency, duration, and intensity of physical activity, while changing the types and methods of participation in physical activity for people with disabilities. Therefore, public health support to promote adherence to physical activity should be needed.


COVID-19 pandemic; physical activity participation; disabled; disability

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Changok Cho,Wonsang Shin,Jungjun Lim,Joon-Sik Kim. Participation in physical activity among people with disabilities during the COVID-19 pandemic in South Korea. Journal of Men's Health. 2022. 18(4);1-7.


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