Définir la notion d’activités physiques adaptées (APA)

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Adapted Physical Activity (APA) “include all physical and sports activities for secondary or tertiary prevention, rehabilitation, post-rehabilitation, rehabilitation, education and social participation to people with chronic disease, disability and/or aging” (Ninot and Partyka, 2007). This professional activity is complementary to physiotherapy. The mission of a teacher in APA is to improve the internal resources to manage the current situations / risk, independence, health and quality of life for patients. These objectives are best achieved all they fit within a multidisciplinary team. Teaching APA requires strong knowledge in the teaching and learning process of physical and sports activities in the analysis of the physiological and psychological needs of participants and institutional analysis.

From words to deeds

The benefits of physical activity for health and quality of life are now known (INSERM, 2008). A case of two thirty of physical activity per week reduces blood pressure, reduces depression, increases self-esteem, reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease, helps control body weight (…). Yet only 14% of people over 65 meet this recommendation. 21% are not very active. 65% are inactive. In the United States, 45% of adults are sedentary, only 10% frequently engage in strenuous exercise. 50% of individuals who engage in an exercise program drop out within six months. Thus, despite the demonstrated benefits of adapted physical activity, only 50% of adults who undertake a program of activity continued to participate after one year.

The reasons for practicing physical activity

– Monitor body weight,

– Reduce the risk of hypertension,

– Reduce stress,

– Give pleasure,

– Strengthening self-esteem,

– Dating new people.

The excuses for not/more do

– Lack of time,

– Lack of knowledge about fitness,

– Lack of sports facilities,

– Pain on exertion,

– Tired.

The problem of continued physical activity

– Personality

– Previous experience in physical activity,

– The misconceptions about the benefits of physical activity on health,

– The social environment (family, friends),

– The physical environment (temperature, time constraints and proximity to amenities)

– Smoking,

– Work,

– The purchasing power

– The (too heavy, injury, professional quality framing) physical activity program.

The general message

The gradual increase in physical activity is beneficial to health and quality of life. Practice with a teacher trained in sports but not referred to health is recommended.

What it means for Health Professionals

The French Society of Professionals Adapted Physical Activity brings together industry professionals. There is also a European association (EUFAPA) and international (FIAPA).

What it means for Researchers

Intervention Research APA progressing very rapidly. The talk today solely on the nature of the activity, but also on the dose, the teaching methods and the institutional framework of practice.

What it means for Policymakers

Research in adapted physical activity is to optimize programs for more health benefits and quality of life while ensuring the safety of the practice. The talk today solely on the nature of the activity but the dose, the teaching methods and the legal framework of practice. The French Society of Professionals Adapted Physical Activity brings together professionals of APA of France.


INSERM (2008). Activité physique: contextes et effets sur la santé. Paris: Editions Inserm.

Ninot G, Partyka M (2007). 50 bonnes pratiques pour enseigner les APA. Paris: Revue EPS.

To reference Blog en Sante © article.

Ninot G (2014). Definition of Adapted Physical Activity. Blog en Sante, L18.

© Copyright 2014 Grégory Ninot. All rights reserved.