Inactive and sedentary lifestyles amongst ambulatory adolescents and young adults with cerebral palsy

J Neuroeng Rehabil. 2014 Apr 3;11:49. doi: 10.1186/1743-0003-11-49.

Abstract

Background: To assess physical behaviour, including physical activity and sedentary behaviour, of ambulatory adolescents and young adults with cerebral palsy (CP). We compared participant physical behaviour to that of able-bodied persons and assessed differences related to Gross Motor Functioning Classification System (GMFCS) level and CP distribution (unilateral/bilateral).

Methods: In 48 ambulatory persons aged 16 to 24 years with spastic CP and in 32 able-bodied controls, physical behaviour was objectively determined with an accelerometer-based activity monitor. Total duration, intensity and type of physical activity were assessed and sedentary time was determined (lying and sitting). Furthermore, distribution of walking bouts and sitting bouts was specified.

Results: Adolescents and young adults with CP spent 8.6% of 24 hours physically active and 79.5% sedentary, corresponding with respectively 123 minutes and 1147 minutes per 24 hours. Compared to able-bodied controls, persons with CP participated 48 minutes less in physical activities (p < 0.01) and spent 80 minutes more sedentary per 24 hours (p < 0.01). Physical behaviour was not different between persons with GMFCS level I and II and only number of short sitting bouts were significantly more prevalent in persons with bilateral CP compared to unilateral CP (p < 0.05).

Conclusions: Ambulatory adolescents and young adults with CP are less physically active and spend more time sedentary compared to able-bodied persons, suggesting that this group may be at increased risk for health problems related to less favourable physical behaviour.

Trial registration: Nederlands trial register: NTR1785.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Accelerometry / methods
  • Adolescent
  • Cerebral Palsy*
  • Humans
  • Motor Activity*
  • Young Adult