Inactive lifestyle in adults with bilateral spastic cerebral palsy

J Rehabil Med. 2009 Apr;41(5):375-81. doi: 10.2340/16501977-0340.


Objective: To quantify the level of everyday physical activity in adults with bilateral spastic cerebral palsy, and to study associations with personal and cerebral palsy-related characteristics.

Participants and methods: Fifty-six adults with bilateral spastic cerebral palsy (mean age 36.4 (standard deviation (SD) 5.8) years, 62% male) participated in the study. Approximately 75% had high gross motor functioning. Level of everyday physical activity was measured with an accelerometry-based Activity Monitor and was characterized by: (i) duration of dynamic activities (composite measure, percentage of 24 h); (ii) intensity of activity (motility, in gravitational acceleration (g)); and (iii) number of periods of continuous dynamic activity. Outcomes in adults with cerebral palsy were compared with those for able-bodied age-mates.

Results: Duration of dynamic activities was 8.1 (SD 3.7) % (116 min per day), and intensity of activity was 0.020 (SD 0.007) g; both outcomes were significantly lower compared with able-bodied age-mates. Of adults with cerebral palsy, 39% had at least one period of continuous dynamic activities lasting longer than 10 min per day. Gross motor functioning was significantly associated with level of everyday physical activity (Rs -0.34 to -0.48; p </= 0.01).

Conclusion: Adults with bilateral spastic cerebral palsy, especially those with low-level gross motor functioning, are at risk for an inactive lifestyle.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Activities of Daily Living
  • Adult
  • Cerebral Palsy / physiopathology
  • Cerebral Palsy / psychology
  • Cerebral Palsy / rehabilitation*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Life Style
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Motor Activity / physiology
  • Movement / physiology
  • Outcome Assessment, Health Care