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Physical Activity of Children With a Mitochondrial Disease Compared to Children Who Are Healthy

Martens, Anne-Marieke MD; Gorter, Hetty PT, MSc; Wassink, Ruben G. V. MSc; Rietman, Hans MD, PhD

doi: 10.1097/PEP.0000000000000016
Research Article

Purpose: To compare the physical activity of a group of children with mitochondrial myopathy (MM) with children who are healthy and to evaluate the suitability of different measurement tools.

Methods: The physical activity of 6 children with MM and 10 children who are healthy was measured using accelerometry, heart rate monitoring, video observation, rating of their fatigue, and 2 questionnaires about their physical activity and quality of life.

Results: The children with MM spent less time in moderate to vigorous activity, and their activity level measured with the accelerometer was lower than the children who are healthy. Also, the children with MM indicated a higher level of fatigue and a lower quality of life.

Conclusions: Children with MM are on average less physically active, report a higher level of fatigue, and a lower quality of life than children who are healthy.

The authors report that children with MM are on average less physically active and report a higher level of fatigue and a lower quality of life than children who are healthy.

Roessingh Research and Development (Ms Martens, Mr Wassink, and Dr Rietman), Laboratory of Biomechanical Engineering, University of Twente, Enschede, the Netherlands; Roessingh Rehabilitation Centre (Ms Gorter), Enschede, the Netherlands.

Correspondence: Anne-Marieke Martens, MD, Roessingh Research and Development, PO Box 310, 7500 AH Enschede, the Netherlands (

At the time this article was written, Anne-Marieke Martens was a medical student at the Faculty of Medical Sciences, University of Groningen, Groningen, the Netherlands.

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

© 2014 Wolters Kluwer Health | Lippincott Williams & Wilkins and the Section on Pediatrics of the American Physical Therapy Association.