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J-School Project: Fitness and the Disabled

Studies show that people with disabilities are more apt to be overweight than those without them.

This is the eighth installment in a series of profiles on Stony Brook University journalism students' senior project submissions. They range from Latina teen pregnancies to craft breweries on Long Island. Check back every day for further editions.

For adults and children with physical and mental disabilities, there is a great need to maintain one's fitness. According to a study by Healthy People, the disabled are more likely to have chronic health conditions, to engage in exercise less frequently and die earlier than those without them. Additionally, they're less apt to have sufficient health insurance coverage.

A report done by Stony Brook University journalism school student Nicole Indelicato profiles HOPEFitness, a group of Long Island-based gyms that encourage the disabled to work out there along with other members of the public. Among those whose lives are chronicles are Brian Pollak, who has high-functioning autism and attention deficit disorder, as well as Anastasia Papadopoulos, who has multiple sclerosis and scoliosis. While other gyms aren't catered to those with issues they face, HOPEFitness is welcoming.

Read more from Indelicato's in-depth project by visiting her website.

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