Physical and psychological health outcomes of a sitting light volleyball intervention program on adults with physical disabilities: a non-randomized controlled pre-post study

BMC Sports Sci Med Rehabil. 2021 Aug 28;13(1):100. doi: 10.1186/s13102-021-00328-7.


Background: People with physical disabilities (PWPD) have limited opportunities to participate in sport activities. Sitting light volleyball (SLVB) is an adapted sport that combines light volleyball and paralympic sitting volleyball. This study examined the effectiveness of an SLVB intervention program to improve the physical and psychological health outcomes of PWPD in Hong Kong, China.

Methods: Thirty-two PWPD [13 women; SLVB group, n = 18; control group (CG), n = 14] with an average age of 48.89 years (SD = 14.42 years) participated in a 16-week intervention consisting of basic SLVB skills, and they also received instructions on the required posture, team tactics, and SLVB rules. Physical (i.e., muscular strength, muscular endurance, body composition, flexibility, and aerobic endurance) and psychological (i.e., physical activity enjoyment and quality of life) health outcomes were measured before and after the intervention.

Results: Individuals in the SLVB group exhibited statistically significant improvements in cardiovascular endurance [F(1,29) = 4.23, p = .049], body composition [F(1,23) = 6.67, p = .017], and physical activity enjoyment [F(1,29) = 16.94, p = .001] compared with adults in the CG.

Conclusions: Participating in SLVB has physical and psychological benefits for adults with physical disabilities in this study. Registration number of trial registry: The trial is registered at, number ChiCTR2000032971 on 17/05/2020.

Keywords: Adaptive physical activity; Special population; Sport.