Content » Vol 41, Issue 5

Original report

Inactive lifestyle in adults with bilateral spastic cerebral palsy

Channah Nieuwenhuijsen, Wilma M.A. van der Slot, Anita Beelen, J. Hans Arendzen, Marij E. Roebroeck, Henk J. Stam, Rita J.G. van den Berg-Emons, the Transition Research Group South West Netherlands
DOI: 10.2340/16501977-0340


Objective: To quantify the level of everyday physical activity in adults with bilateral spastic cerebral palsy, and to study associations with personal and cerebral palsy-related characteristics.
Participants and methods: Fifty-six adults with bilateral spastic cerebral palsy (mean age 36.4 (standard deviation (SD) 5.8) years, 62% male) participated in the study. Approximately 75% had high gross motor functioning. Level of everyday physical activity was measured with an accelerometry-based Activity Monitor and was characterized by: (i) duration of dynamic activities (composite measure, percentage of 24 h); (ii) intensity of activity (motility, in gravitational acceleration (g)); and (iii) number of periods of continuous dynamic activity. Outcomes in adults with cerebral palsy were compared with those for able-bodied age-mates.
Results: Duration of dynamic activities was 8.1 (SD 3.7) % (116 min per day), and intensity of activity was 0.020 (SD 0.007) g; both outcomes were significantly lower compared with able-bodied age-mates. Of adults with cerebral palsy, 39% had at least one period of continuous dynamic activities lasting longer than 10 min per day. Gross motor functioning was significantly associated with level of everyday physical activity (Rs –0.34 to –0.48; p ≤ 0.01).
Conclusion: Adults with bilateral spastic cerebral palsy, especially those with low-level gross motor functioning, are at risk for an inactive lifestyle.

Lay Abstract


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