An exploratory study of the association between physical activity, cardiovascular fitness and body size in children with Down syndrome

Dev Neurorehabil. 2017 Feb;20(2):92-98. doi: 10.3109/17518423.2015.1077901. Epub 2015 Sep 14.

Abstract

Objective: To explore the association between physical activity, cardiovascular fitness and body size among children with Down syndrome.

Method: Physical activity, cardiovascular fitness and body size were measured by accelerometry, maximal fitness test and anthropometric measurements (BMI, waist circumference), respectively.

Results: Fourteen children with Down syndrome (8 boys, 6 girls; mean age 12.9 years) participated. There was no significant correlation between physical activity and cardiovascular fitness or physical activity and body size. Children with Down syndrome who were fitter, had lower BMIs (r = -0.77, 95% confidence interval (CI) -0.41 to -0.93) and smaller waist circumference (r = -0.75, 95% CI -0.36 to -0.92).

Conclusion: Preliminary evidence suggests physical activity may not be associated with either body size or fitness in children with Down syndrome. Body size appears to be inversely related to fitness in children with Down syndrome.

Keywords: Accelerometry; body mass index; intellectual disability; maximal fitness test; waist circumference.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Body Size*
  • Child
  • Down Syndrome / pathology
  • Down Syndrome / physiopathology
  • Down Syndrome / rehabilitation*
  • Exercise*
  • Female
  • Heart Rate*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Oxygen Consumption
  • Physical Fitness