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Physical Activity in Non-Ambulatory Toddlers with Cerebral Palsy




Background: Children with cerebral palsy are less likely to be physically active than their peers, however there is limited evidence regarding self-initiated physical activity in toddlers who are not able, or who may never be able, to walk. Aims: The aim of this study was to measure self-initiated physical activity and its relationship to gross motor function and participation in non-ambulatory toddlers with cerebral palsy. Methods and procedures: Participants were between the ages of 1–3 years. Physical activity during independent floor-play at home was recorded using a wearable tri-axial accelerometer worn on the child’s thigh. The Gross Motor Function Measure-66 and the Child Engagement in Daily Life, a parent-reported questionnaire of participation, were administered. Outcomes and results: Data were analyzed from the twenty participants who recorded at least 90 min of floor-play (mean: 229 min), resulting in 4598 total floor-play minutes. The relationship between physical activity and gross motor function was not statistically significant (r = 0.20; p = 0.39), nor were the relationships between physical activity and participation (r = 0.05−0.09; p = 0.71−0.84). Conclusions and implications: The results suggest physical activity during floor-play is not related to gross motor function or participation in non-ambulatory toddlers with cerebral palsy. Clinicians and researchers should independently measure physical activity, gross motor function, and participation.

Author(s): Julie M.Orlando and Samuel Pierce and Mayumi Mohan and Julie Skorup and Athylia Paremski and Megan Bochnak and Laura A. Prosser
Journal: Research in Developmental Disabilities
Volume: 90
Pages: 51-58
Year: 2019
Month: July

Department(s): Haptic Intelligence
Bibtex Type: Article (article)
Paper Type: Journal

DOI: 10.1016/j.ridd.2019.04.002
State: Published


  title = {Physical Activity in Non-Ambulatory Toddlers with Cerebral Palsy},
  author = {M.Orlando, Julie and Pierce, Samuel and Mohan, Mayumi and Skorup, Julie and Paremski, Athylia and Bochnak, Megan and Prosser, Laura A.},
  journal = {Research in Developmental Disabilities},
  volume = {90},
  pages = {51-58},
  month = jul,
  year = {2019},
  month_numeric = {7}