Effects of Exercise Interventions on Habitual Physical Activity and Sedentary Behavior in Adolescents With Cerebral Palsy

in Pediatric Exercise Science
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Purpose: Exercise interventions have been shown to increase motor capacities in adolescents with cerebral palsy; however, how they affect habitual physical activity (HPA) and sedentary behavior is unclear. The main objective was to correlate changes in HPA with changes in mobility capacity following exercise interventions. Methods: A total of 54 participants (aged 12–20 y) with bilateral spastic cerebral palsy at Gross Motor Function Classification System (GMFCS) levels II and III received 4 months of group progressive resistance training or treadmill training. Mobility measurements and HPA (averaged over 96 h) were made before and after interventions. Results: Averaged baseline mobility and HPA measures and improvements in each after both interventions were positively correlated in all participants. Percentage of sedentary/awake time decreased 2%, with significant increases in HPA measures of step count (16%), walk time (14%), and upright time (9%). Mobility measures and HPA changes were quite similar between Gross Motor Function Classification System levels, but improvement in HPA after group progressive resistance training was greater than after treadmill training (12% vs 4%) and correlated with mobility improvement. Conclusions: Mobility capacity improved after these interventions and was clearly associated with improved HPA. The group progressive resistance training intervention seems preferable to improve HPA, perhaps related to greater social interaction and motivation provided by group training.

Bar-Haim, Aviram, and Raanan are with the Department of Physical Therapy, Faculty of Health Sciences, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Beer Sheva, Israel. Aviram is also with Meshi Children’s Rehabilitation Center, Jerusalem, Israel. Shkedy Rabani is with the Department of Biomedical Engineering, Ben Gurion University of the Negev, Beer Sheva, Israel. Amro is with the Department of Physical Therapy, Faculty of Health Professions, Al-Quds University, Hebron, Palestinian Authority. Nammourah is with Cambridge Medical & Rehabilitation Center, Shakhbout City, United Arab Emirates. Al-Jarrah is with the Department of Rehabilitation Sciences, Jordan University of Science and Technology, Irbid, Jordan. Loeppky is with the Research Section, VA Medical Center, Albuquerque, NM, USA. Harries is with the Human Motion Analysis Laboratory, Assaf Harofeh Medical Center, Zerifin, Israel.

Bar-Haim (barhaims@bgu.ac.il) is corresponding author.
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