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Disability or useful control group?

Could people with disabilities, have that problem turned to advantage by society, in the form of control grouping for medical and psychological testing of theories? By this, for example, I mean the idea being debated on another forum I belong to that it's lack of exercise that has created a noticeable increase in people being grossly overweight. I said if this was true, surely people in wheelchairs would also be grossly overweight and I asked if anyone had carried out a study on this. Likewise blind people or the deaf by their sensory deprivation, may be able to add a viewpoint to other scientific or medical conundrums. Again, I remember someone who had their physical sight restored, who had been blind from birth, yet they still couldn't make any sense of the world as a three dimensional entity, which was contrary to expectation.

  • Feb 29 2012: Thoughtful post again. Damn! I was already aware of upper body athletics and dancing but not getting upstairs in a wheelchair - does it work without a handrail?

    The thread I was on, on the other site I was on, implied grossly overweight people as are now being found more nowadays, is down to a virus, not lack of exercise. I'm not convinced as we now drive everywhere, where once we walked or sit in front of the TV or computer screen, rather than go play outside as kids.

    Your reply reminds of one I had from a woman, who was secretary of a sheep rearing organization in The UK. I suggested that during the lambing season, heated pads should be used to keep the young sheep warm. She emailed me back, pointing out that they'd get dirty and you had no way of ensuring that the lambs would stay on them, plus Infra red bulbs did a better job because the warmth went everywhere and the lambs couldn't lie on them. She did it also with such good humour that my ego couldn't feel offended and my intellect surrendered to her very objective arguments.

    Another thought has just occurred to me and that is unused limbs waste away don't they, not turn to fat?
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    Feb 29 2012: Sedentary and inactive are not the same thing. I was amazed to find a wheelchair user being taught to get up and down stairs. Compare someone walking upstairs, and someone doing the same thing while also moving the weight of a wheelchair - who's getting the most exercise? You'll find wheelchair athletes competing at a high level and wheelchair dance groups. They're all expending a lot of energy while sitting.

    The fact of wheelchair users being sedentary doesn't of itself make them a useful control group, you would need other selection criteria.
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    Feb 29 2012: That is quiet an interesting hypothesis. It needs studies