Triad of physical activity, aerobic fitness and obesity in adolescents and young adults with myelomeningocele
Laurien M. Buffart, Marij E. Roebroeck, Mathilde Rol, Henk J. Stam, Rita JG van den Berg-Emons
Objective: Comprehensively and objectively assess physical activity, aerobic fitness and body fat in adolescents and young adults with myelomeningocele and to investigate their relationships.
Design: Cross-sectional study.
Subjects: Fifty-one persons (26 males) with myelomeningocele aged 21.1 (standard deviation) 4.5) years.
Methods: Physical activity was measured with an accelerometry-based activity monitor. Aerobic fitness was defined as the maximum oxygen uptake during the last minute of a maximal exercise test. Body fat was assessed using sum of 4 skin-folds and body mass index. Correlations were studied using multiple regression analyses.
Results: Thirty-nine percent of the participants were inactive and another 37% were extremely inactive. Aerobic fitness was 42% lower than normative values and 35% were obese. Ambulatory status was related to daily physical activity (β = 0.541), aerobic fitness (β = 0.397) and body fat (β = –0.243). Gender was related to aerobic fitness (β = –0.529) and body fat (β = 0.610). Physical activity was related to aerobic fitness in non-ambulatory persons with myelomeningocele (β = 0.398), but not in ambulatory persons.
Conclusion: Adolescents and young adults with myelomeningocele were physically inactive, had poor aerobic fitness and high body fat. Differences exist between subgroups regarding gender and ambulatory status.