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Healthy Living

Healthy living is about valuing the life we live. Health living happens when we think about the consequences of our everyday behaviors and try to avoid health problems before they develop. Although the rest of society may not yet be tuned into this idea, using a wheelchair does not prevent healthy living. You can review the document Healthy People 2000 to see the goals set for the average citizen. This document has almost expired, so you can check out the new plan to improve American health in: Healthy People 2010.

Changing health habits takes commitment and determination and most of us need some help and support to overcome resistance to change. Using a wheelchair means that some innovation and creativity are needed too! We can help each other avoid problems and engage in healthy activities. The resources here might get your started and the discussions might help you find the encouragement that you need.


Pressure Ulcers

Cumulative Trauma Disorders

Wheelchair Accidents: Tipping and Falls

Motor Vehicles Accidents

At present, there is no mechanism for reporting automobile or motor vehicle accidents that involve persons or occupants seated in a wheelchair. As a result, there is no source of safety data on wheelchairs used as seats in motor vehicles.


Wheelchair-friendly Health Care

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Health Issues for Women with Disabilities

  • Center for Research on Women with Disabilities (CROWD) - a resource at Baylor School of Medicine for women with arthritis, multiple sclerosis, spinal cord injuries, and the linger effects of stroke.
  • HealthyWomen - a non-profit organization, dedicated to helping women make informed decisions about their health.
  • Healthy Women Build Healthy Communities - a project of The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) to increase access to primary and preventive health care for those who are medically underserved.
  • Women with Disabilities - at the National Women's Health Information Center - 800/994 -WOMAN or by TDD 888/ 220-5446. Locate resources for abuse, parenting, and sexuality and general resources about critical health issues for a variety of disabilities, including physical, neurological, hearing, speech, and visual impairment. It will also provide information on psychiatric, learning, and developmental disabilities.
  • Women with Disabilities - a loose-knit alliance of women in the US and Canada. [Note: this page was down as of 12/16/02 try:]
  • Parents with Disabilities - STAR - a grant supported project (Federation of Independent School Alumnae [FISA] and PUSH) creating opportunities and equal access for parents with disabilities. 
  • Welner Accessible Exam Table - an exam table that accommodates women with disabilities for pelvic examinations. this exam table is manufactured by Keitzer Manufacturing.

Heart Disease

Physical inactivity has been established as a major risk factor for the development of coronary artery disease. It also contributes to other risk factors including obesity, high blood pressure, stroke and a low level of HDL cholesterol . Even modest levels of physical activity are beneficial. Older adults and people with disabilities can gain significant health benefits with a moderate amount of physical activity, preferably daily. Physical activity need not be strenuous to bring health benefits. What is important is to include activity as part of the regular routine.

  • American Heart Association - links to exercise, diet and prevention resources. Search on A to Z Guide, then exercise.
  • My Heart Doctor - a project of the Heart Center Online, a comprehensive, cardiology-focused site for cardiologists and cardiovascular health care consumers.
  • HeartInfo - the Heart Information Network

Diagnosis Related Information

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Exercise, Flexibility and Aerobic Fitness

Weight Management

Statistics about Disability

Last Updated: 3-2-2006

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Contact information:
  Department of Rehabilitation Science and Technology  Telephone: 412.624.6279

 © Copyright 2006 University of Pittsburgh. All rights reserved.
No quotes from the materials contained herein may be used in any media without attribution to WheelchairNet and the Department of Rehabilitation Science and Technology.

Please note: This information is provided a archival information from the Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center on Wheeled Mobility from 1993 to 2002.

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