Motion sickness prevalence in school children

Eur J Pediatr. 2014 Nov;173(11):1473-82. doi: 10.1007/s00431-014-2351-1. Epub 2014 Jun 4.


This study aimed to determine the prevalence of motion sickness in schoolchildren and related the finding to the postural balance and quality of life. A population-based cross-sectional study was carried out with 831 children aged 7 to 12 years. The frequency of motion sickness was evaluated based on the Motion Sickness Susceptibility Questionnaire-Short (MSSQ-short). Postural balance was assessed using the Romberg test under different sensory conditions. The Dizziness Handicap Inventory was used in order to assess the quality of life. The statistical analyses were performed using the chi-square, Kruskal-Wallis, Mann-Whitney, and Spearman correlation tests. The prevalence of motion sickness was 43.4 % in car, 43.2 % on bus, 11.7 % on park swing, and 11.6 % on Ferris wheel. Mean unadjusted scores on the MSSQ-short ranged from 5.0 (SE = 0.5) for 10-year-olds to 6.8 (SE = 0.5) for 9-year-olds. The most prevalent symptoms following the balance tests were dizziness (89.2 %), vertigo (54.9 %), headache (10.6 %), and nausea (8.2 %). Significant correlations were found between the MSSQ-short score and all postural balance tests. Significant correlations were found between the MSSQ and modified DHI (Dizziness Handicap Inventory) at all ages.

Conclusion: The prevalence of motion sickness in schoolchildren is greater when in a car or on a bus. An association was found between motion sickness and postural balance tests and motion sickness and quality of life.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Brazil / epidemiology
  • Child
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Motion Sickness / epidemiology*
  • Motion Sickness / psychology
  • Postural Balance
  • Prevalence
  • Quality of Life / psychology
  • Surveys and Questionnaires