Factors Associated With Moderate to Vigorous Physical Activity in Adolescents Born Preterm

in Pediatric Exercise Science
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Little is known about the physical activity of adolescents born prematurely. This study aimed to: 1) describe relationships between moderate to vigorous physical activity (MVPA) in adolescents born prematurely and various factors and, 2) compare their MVPA level to guidelines.


A secondary analysis was performed using data from 64 adolescents (16.1 ± 2.5 years old, born £29 weeks gestation; 57.8% girls). Time spent in MVPA was based on accelerometry data. Sociodemographic, prematurity and comorbidity variables were based on questionnaire data or, for movement difficulty, from the results of the Movement Assessment Battery for Children—Second Edition.


Multiple regression analysis showed that participants who were older (b = -4.52, p < .001), female (b = 14.18, p = .014), with movement difficulty (b = 18.64, p = .014), with health problems (b = 11.78, p = .036) and without hyperactive behavior (trend, b = 2.04, p = .099) spent less time in MVPA. Together these variables explained 44.4% of the variance in MVPA. Most participants (79.7%) did not meet Canadian MVPA guidelines.


Study results suggest that physical activity interventions should especially target adolescents born prematurely who are older, female, with health problems, and with marked movement difficulties.

Proulx, Nadeau, Vanier, and Maltais are with the Center for Interdisciplinary Research in Rehabilitation and Social Integration (CIRRIS), Université Laval, Quebec City, Canada. Majnemer, Dahan-Oliel, and Mazer are with the School of Physical and Occupational Therapy, McGill University, Montreal, Canada.

Address author correspondence to Désirée B. Maltais at desiree.maltais@rea.ulaval.ca.