Sedentary Behavior: Implications for Children With Cerebral Palsy

Innes, Jennifer PT, BScPT; Darrah, Johanna PT, PhD

Pediatric Physical Therapy:
doi: 10.1097/PEP.0b013e31829c4234
Special Communication
Abstract

Purpose: To review the research associated with sedentary behavior with adults and children in the general population and to discuss the application of this research for children with cerebral palsy.

Summary of key points: Increased sedentary behavior and decreased physical activity are independent constructs with different definitions, physiological mechanisms, and health outcomes. The parameters of sedentary behavior developed for children with typical motor abilities may not be valid for children with cerebral palsy.

Statement of conclusions: Research to identify measurement tools, health associations, and potential interventions for children with cerebral palsy is needed.

Recommendations for clinical practice: Interventions to decrease sedentary behavior differ from current interventions to increase physical activity with children with cerebral palsy. Before designing interventions to decrease sedentary behavior, research is needed to determine valid definitions and measurement approaches for children with cerebral palsy, as those derived for children with typical motor development may have limited application.

In Brief

Increased sedentary behavior and decreased physical activity have different definitions, physiological mechanisms, and health outcomes. The notion of sedentary behavior developed for children with typical motor abilities may not be valid for children with cerebral palsy.

Author Information

Edmonton Public School Board (Ms Innes), Edmonton, Alberta, Canada; Department of Physical Therapy (Dr Darrah), Faculty of Rehabilitation Medicine, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.

Correspondence: Johanna Darrah, PT, PhD, Department of Physical Therapy, Faculty of Rehabilitation Medicine, 2-50 Corbett Hall, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada T6G 2G4 (johanna.darrah@ualberta.ca).

Grant support: Jennifer Innes received funding for her graduate studies from the Edmonton Public School Board.

At the time this article was written, Jennifer Innes was a master's degree student of Rehabilitation Science at the University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

© 2013 Wolters Kluwer Health | Lippincott Williams & Wilkins and the Section on Pediatrics of the American Physical Therapy Association.