Exercise Research: Youth

Exercise and sports for children who have disabilities.

Wilson PE.
Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Box 285, Children’s Hospital, 1056 E. 19th Avenue, Denver, CO 80218, USA. wilson.pamela@tchden.orgwilson.pamela@tchden.org
Phys Med Rehabil Clin N Am 2002 Nov;13(4):907-23, ix

This article focuses on the exercise needs of children who have disabilities, how these needs differ from able-bodied children, and what medical concerns are relevant for a given disability. The information presented also discusses some preventative options related to individual sports and a discussion of various organized recreational and competitive opportunities available both nationally and internationally. In addition, a listing of major disabled sports organizations is provided for reference.


Osteoporosis in children who have disabilities.

Apkon SD.
Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, 4200 East Ninth Avenue, A040, Denver, CO, USA. apkon.susan@tchden.org
Phys Med Rehabil Clin N Am 2002 Nov;13(4):839-55

Children who have disabilities are at increased risk for osteoporosis during childhood. This not only puts them at risk for fractures during childhood but also during adulthood. Peak bone mass, which helps predict osteoporosis in adulthood, is never attained in children who have a disability. Care providers of this group of children must be aggressive in the prevention and treatment of osteoporosis. A thorough laboratory evaluation and DXA studies may be undertaken on all disabled children who are at risk for osteoporosis. Although medications have shown promise in the treatment of decreased bone mass, their efficacy in children who have disabilities must be evaluated in larger, controlled studies. Nonpharmocologic treatments also necessitate further exploration.


Relationship between functional ability and physical fitness in juvenile idiopathic arthritis patients.

Takken T, van der Net J, Helders PJ. Department of Pediatric Physical Therapy, University Hospital for Children and Youth ‘Hat Wilhelmina Kinderziekenhuis’, University Medical Center Utrecht, The Netherlands. t.takken@wkz.azu.nl Scand J Rheumatol. 2003;32(3):174-8.

Objective: To determine the relationship between aerobic and anaerobic physical fitness and functional ability in children with juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA).

Methods: Eighteen children with JIA (age 7 to 14 yr., 3 male/15 female) performed a maximal aerobic exercise test and a Wingate anaerobic exercise test. Functional ability was concurrently assessed using the Childhood Health Assessment Questionnaire (CHAQ).

Results: A low relationship between aerobic fitness and functional ability was found (r = 0.0 to 0.4, p > 0.05, except for eating r = 0.46, p < 0.05). The correlations between anaerobic physical fitness and functional ability in JIA patients were strong (r = 0.5 to 0.75, p < 0.05). This indicated a good relationship between anaerobic fitness and functional ability.

Conclusion: The strong association between anaerobic physical fitness and functional ability showed the importance of anaerobic physical fitness for children with JIA.