Sedentary and Active Time in Toddlers with and without Cerebral Palsy
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Introduction/Purpose: To evaluate differences in sedentary time and compare levels of physical activity and sedentary behavior to the Australian physical activity recommendations between toddlers with cerebral palsy (CP) according to functional capacity (Gross Motor Function Classification System [GMFCS]) and age-matched children with typical development (CTD). Methods: Children (2.4 ± 0.5 yr old) were split into CTD (n = 20), GMFCS I–II (n = 32), GMFCS III (n = 14), and GMFCS IV–V (n = 12) groups and wore a triaxial ActiGraph® for 3 d. Validated cut points were applied to identify sedentary and active time and the number and duration of sedentary bouts and breaks for each group. Analysis of variance (ANOVA) with post hoc testing, chi-square analysis, and the Fisher exact test were used to compare groups. Results: No difference between the CTD group (49%) and GMFCS I–II group (52%) was found for sedentary time as a percentage of wear time. The GMFCS III group was more sedentary than both these groups (62%, P < 0.05). The GMFCS IV–V group was more sedentary than all the other groups (74%, P < 0.05). The CTD group and GMFCS I–II group was more likely to spend 180 min or longer in active play on all 3 d than the GMFCS IV–V group (P < 0.05). The GMFCS IV–V group was more likely to have sedentary bouts ≥60 min or longer than all other groups (P < 0.05). Conclusion: Differences in sedentary behavior between the CTD and mildly impaired children with CP (GMFCS I–II) are not evident in the toddler years. Children with moderate-to-severe functional impairment are progressively more sedentary and less likely to meet physical activity guidelines. Further research into the health implications of high levels of sedentary behavior in toddlers is required.
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