Purpose: The aim of this study was to describe the physical activity levels of 5- and 7-year-old children with cerebral palsy (CP, n = 97), to compare their physical activity levels with those of typically developing peers (TD, n = 57) and the Dutch recommendation for physical activity, and to investigate the associated factors.
Method: The level of physical activity (hours spent on sports and physical activity per week) and contextual factors were assessed with standardised questionnaires.
Results: Mean duration of self-reported physical activity for children with CP was 3.4 (+/- 1.9) h/week, which was significantly less than the 5.8 (+/- 2.3) h/week for TD-peers. Ninety-three percent of the children with CP were insufficiently physically active according to the Dutch recommendation for physical activity. Multiple regression analyses showed that younger age and lower educational level of the mother were significantly associated with lower levels of physical activity for children with CP, while severity of CP was not associated with physical activity levels. Twenty-two percent of the parents reported that more facilities in sport and games are required for children with CP.
Conclusion: Physical activity is low in young children with CP and needs to be promoted at an early stage.