, Volume 169, Issue 10, pp 1187-1193
Date: 23 Apr 2010

Reduced physical activity level and cardiorespiratory fitness in children with chronic diseases

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Abstract

We aimed to compare physical activity level and cardiorespiratory fitness in children with different chronic diseases, such as type 1 diabetes mellitus (T1DM), obesity (OB) and juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA), with healthy controls (HC). We performed a cross-sectional study including 209 children: OB: n = 45, T1DM: n = 48, JIA: n = 31, and HC: n = 85. Physical activity level was assessed by accelerometer and cardiorespiratory fitness by a treadmill test. ANOVA, linear regressions and Pearson correlations were used. Children with chronic diseases had reduced total daily physical activity counts (T1DM 497 ± 54 cpm, p = 0.003; JIA 518 ± 28, p < 0.001, OB 590 ± 25, p = 0.003) and cardiorespiratory fitness (JIA 39.3 ± 1.7, p = 0.001, OB 41.7 ± 1.2, p = 0.020) compared to HC (668 ± 35 cpm; 45.3 ± 0.9 ml kg−1 min−1, respectively). Only 60.4% of HC, 51.6% of OB, 38.1% of JIA and 38.5% of T1DM children met the recommended daily 60 min of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity. Low cardiorespiratory fitness was associated with female gender and low daily PA. Conclusion: Children with chronic diseases had reduced physical activity and cardiorespiratory fitness. As the benefits of PA on health have been well demonstrated during growth, it should be encouraged in those children to prevent a reduction of cardiorespiratory fitness and the development of comorbidities.