Disability History Month 2020: The development of disability and wellness

More disabled people are becoming more empowered and confident to improve their wellbeing and their health, which is encouraging to see because this was not always the case. The development of disability in the wellness industry has been developed mainly from the increase of social media influencers who may suffer from a disability or a medical condition. During Disability History Month (18th November to 20th December), we need to see how the development of this community has grown over time.

History of Disability and Fitness

It has first begun when the Olympics Committee announced that in 1948, after World War 2 during the London 1958 Olympic Opening Ceremony, Dr. Guttmann announced and organized a competition made specifically for wheelchair users who became disabled after the war and there were at least 16 participants. This was named the Stoke Mandeville before in 1960, changed the name to the Paralympics.

The first Paralympics game happened in Rome 1960 and had around 400 athletes in 23 countries and have since happened every 4 years, just like how the Olympics game has been operating. Throughout the years of the Paralympics, there has been an increase in various types of disabilities and medical conditions who have participated in the competition.

This has influenced more disabled people to be proud and feel more ambitious to enter a career of fitness and sports after seeing the Paralympics, which has become a huge influence for this community to develop. The increase in personal trainers and fitness influencers who have put themselves on social media when they have a disability has shown to be influenced by Paralympians.

More information about the history of the Paralympics can be found here:

History of Disability and Nutrition

There is not much of a history with nutrition as there is with fitness, because not many people thought that nutrition was also a contributing factor to having a good wellbeing. There has been more awareness about nutrition in recent decades with more cooks and nutritionists who suffers from a disability. They noticed that disabled people tend to suffer from malnutrition which is shown to be a global public health problem

It was found that “countries with high levels of malnutrition and nutrient deficiency also often report higher rates of disability and developmental delay,” (Groce et al. 2014) which shows that nutrition has always been an issue when it comes to disability and nutrition. Since then, there has been more program which tackles these issues and allow disabled people and people with medical condition receive more nutrition guidelines and plans to reduce malnutrition within the community.


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