The risks and benefits of snow sports for people with disabilities: a review of the literature

Int J Rehabil Res. 2010 Sep;33(3):193-8. doi: 10.1097/MRR.0b013e32833638a5.


Snow sports are popular pastimes with therapeutic potential. The aim of this review is to evaluate the risk of injury and evidence of benefits of alpine skiing (including sit-skiing), Nordic skiing, and snowboarding for people with disabilities. Ten studies met the inclusion criteria from 357 citations. Research in this area is still in its infancy, but the risks of engaging in snow sports appear no greater than those of the general population, and there is some evidence that skiing can positively influence self-esteem, physical self-worth, standing balance, and gross motor function among individuals with a disability.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Disabled Persons* / psychology
  • Disabled Persons* / rehabilitation
  • Humans
  • Risk
  • Skiing* / injuries
  • Skiing* / psychology