Exercise: disability across lifespan (FS-10)

(In)activity and health in childhood onset disability across the lifespan

Janke de Groot (Netherlands), Tim Takken (Netherlands), Olaf Verschuren (Netherlands), Carol Maher (Australia), Lesley Wiart (Canada)

Focused symposium

Saturday 2 May 2015, 10:45-12:15, Hall 406

(In)activity and health in childhood onset disability across the lifespan

de Groot J. 1,2, Takken T. 2, Verschuren O. 3,4, Maher C. 5, Wiart L. 6

1Hu University of Applied Sciences, Research Group Lifestyle and Health, Utrecht, Netherlands, 2UMCUtrecht, Child Exercise and Development Center, Wilhelmina Children's Hospital, Utrecht, Netherlands, 3UMCUtrecht, Brain Center Rudolf Magnus, Utrecht, Netherlands, 4De Hoogstraat Rehabilitation, Utrecht, Netherlands, 5University of South Australia, School of Health Sciences, Adelaide, Australia, 6University of Alberta, Glenrose Rehabilitation Hospital, Edmonton, Canada

Learning objectives

  1. To review the role of exercise testing and exercise prescription in children with childhood onset disability or chronic conditions.
  2. To present new research outcomes concerning the assessement and importance of sedentary behaviour.
  3. To discuss the future interventions aimed at health promotion across the lifespan for individuals with childhood onset disability or chronic conditions

Description

Presenters in this symposium will review and discuss issues concerning both activity and in activity in children and adults with childhood onset disability and chronic conditions.

Due to advances in the medical approach, mortality rates and medical outcomes in childhood onset disability and chronic conditions have improved over the last years and most of these children can now be expected to live to be adults.3, 4 This requires a different approach in management of these patients from childhood through adolescence into adulthood, not only focusing on the pathological aspects, but also at the preventable consequences of the disease (Simeonsson 2002). As a result, physical activity and its presumed importance in achieving adequate levels of ,fitness and health are increasingly important for youth with disability and childhood conditions. Indeed, literature suggests interventions promoting healthy and active lifestyle should ideally start before the transition from youth to adulthood (Magnussen 2013). Despite the well-known health benefits, many children and adolescents with childhood onset disability and chronic conditions show decreased levels of participation in physical activity. Dr. Takken will discuss the positive evidence of training, but at the same time these studies show maintaining adequate levels of physical activity after training seems difficult (Verschuren 2007, de Groot 2011, van Brussel 2011). Therefore dr. Maher and dr. Wiar will present different approaches aimed at improving physical activity across the lifespan of individuals with childhood onset disability and childhood conditions (Maltais 2010). When developing these types of interventions, identifying factors within this population and their parents, healthcare providers and teachers to what they perceive to be barriers and facilitators to be and stay physically active seems crucial (Shields 2009).

Another issue to be considered is the role of inactivity. While the emphasis over the last two decades has been on moderate to vigorous exercise when designing activity and exercise programs, emerging evidence suggests that sedentary behaviour is distinctly different from a lack of moderate to vigorous physical activity, and has independent and different physiological mechanisms. During this symposium, dr. Verschuren will discusses what we know about sedentary behaviour of children and adolescents with CP, and which future research directions are needed to build foundational knowledge in this area.

Implications / Conclusions

This international group in (pediatric) physical therapy and exercise physiology has made important contributions in the research area of assessment of physical activity, physical fitness, designing exercise interventions, identifying factors for reduced participation in physical activity and health promotion in individuals with childhood onset disability and chronic conditions. At the same time the group works closely together with (pediatric) physical therapist in order to guarantee the evidence is relevant and applicable to the daily practice of physical therapists. During this symposium interventions and assessment relevant to improve health outcomes and participation in physical activity for persons with childhood onset disability and chronic conditions across the lifespan.

Keywords

Physical activity; Health promotion; Childhood onset disability

Funding acknowledgements

Janke de Groot, Olaf Verschuren, Tim Takken: SIA RAAK PRO (Fit for the Future) & ZONMW (Health benefits from sports in children with disability and chronic conditions).
Carol Maher (Australian Research Council and the Channel 7 Children's Research Fund).

Relevance to WCPT and expected audience

This international group of researchers are working on evidence and best practices in assessment of (in)activity, improving physical activity and health promotion in persons with childhood onset disability and chronic conditions from different areas of expertise starting in childhood and continuing throughout adolescence and adulthood. This symposium therefore is highly relevant to the daily practice of physical therapist working on health promotion throughout the lifespan and across different service settings

Target audience

(Pediatric) physical therapists working with individuals with childhood onset disability or chronic conditions.