Physical Activity Levels, Frequency, and Type Among Adolescents with and Without Autism Spectrum Disorder
We compared time spent in moderate and vigorous physical activity (MVPA), type, and frequency of participation in physical activities between adolescents with ASD (n = 35) and typically developing (TD) adolescents (n = 60). Accelerometers measured MVPA and participants were interviewed about engagement in physical activities. Adolescents with ASD spent less time in MVPA compared to TD adolescents (29 min/day vs. 50 min/day, p < 0.001) and fewer met the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans (14 vs. 29%, p > 0.05). Among adolescents <16 years old, those with ASD participated in fewer activities than TD adolescents (5.3 vs. 7.1 activities, p < 0.03). Walking/hiking and active video gaming were among the top activities for both groups. Findings support the need for interventions that meet the needs of youth with ASD.