Responding to exercise-deficit disorder in youth: integrating wellness care into pediatric physical therapy

Pediatr Phys Ther. 2013 Spring;25(1):2-6. doi: 10.1097/PEP.0b013e31827a33f6.


The problem: The decline and disinterest in regular physical activity among contemporary youth have created an immediate need to identify and treat these youngsters before they become resistant to our interventions.

Key points: Exercise-deficit disorder is a term used to describe a condition characterized by reduced levels of physical activity that are inconsistent with current public health recommendations. Pediatric physical therapists are in an enviable position to identify and treat exercise-deficit disorder in youth, regardless of body size or physical ability.

Recommendation: If pediatric physical therapists want to become advocates for children's health and wellness, there is a need to address limitations in the physical therapist professional curriculum, educate families on the benefits of wellness programming, and initiate preventive strategies that identify youth who are inactive, promote daily physical activity, and encourage healthy lifestyle choices.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adolescent Behavior*
  • Child
  • Child Behavior*
  • Child Welfare
  • Exercise
  • Health Promotion / methods*
  • Humans
  • Motor Activity
  • Physical Therapy Modalities*
  • Sedentary Behavior*