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International Journal of Pediatrics
Volume 2012, Article ID 329284, 6 pages
Research Article

Accelerometry: A Feasible Method to Quantify Physical Activity in Ambulatory and Nonambulatory Adolescents with Cerebral Palsy

1CanChild Centre for Childhood Disability Research, McMaster University, 1400 Main Street West, IAHS Building, Room 408, Hamilton, ON, Canada L8S 1C7
2Health Research Methodology Program, McMaster University, Hamilton, ON, Canada L8S 4K1
3Child Health & Exercise Medicine Program, Department of Pediatrics, McMaster University, 1280 Main Street West, HSC 3N27G, Hamilton, ON, Canada L8S 4K1

Received 29 December 2011; Accepted 23 April 2012

Academic Editor: Roslyn Boyd

Copyright © 2012 Jan Willem Gorter et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Objective. To determine the feasibility of physical activity monitoring in adolescents with cerebral palsy (CP). Methods. A convenience sample of ambulatory and non-ambulatory adolescents ( ; 17 males, 6 females; mean age 13.5 y, SD 2.6 y; Gross Motor Function Classification System (GMFCS) distribution: Level I, Level II, Level III, Level IV) was recruited. Physical activity (PA) was objectively assessed using the ActiGraph GT1M activity monitor. Discomfort or adverse effects of wearing the accelerometers were recorded by participants. Levels of physical activity were determined as total PA, light PA (LPA), moderate PA (MPA), moderate-to-vigorous (MVPA), and vigorous PA (VPA) using cut-points recently validated for CP. Results. Most participants showed little reluctance. Mean daily MVPA for all participants was 30.7 minutes (SD 30.3), which corresponded to 2.7 (SD 2.4) minutes of MVPA per hour or 4.5% (SD 3.9) of the total monitoring time. Total PA and MVPA were greatest in ambulatory youth (GMFCS levels I and II) compared with youth who use a walking aid or wheelchair (GMFCS levels III and IV) ( ). Conclusion(s). The results support the use of the accelerometer as a feasible and useful measure of activity in ambulatory and nonambulatory adolescents with CP.