Regular physical activity is important for children and adolescents. Not only does it improve cardiorespiratory fitness, it also helps to build strong bones and muscles, control weight, reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression, and decrease the risks of developing other health conditions. Exercise is also critical for developing basic movement skills (or physical literacy). But children with disabilities often lack access to programs and equipment that would enable them to be physically active.
As Canada Research Chair in Healthy Inclusive Communities, Dr. Emily Bremer aims to increase population-level physical activity-with an emphasis on children and youth with neurodevelopmental disabilities-with the goal of improving physical, mental and cognitive health. By improving our knowledge of physical literacy and childhood disability, she and her research team hope to support training that will ultimately lead to healthier, more inclusive communities in Canada and internationally.