Physical Activity and Motor Function in Children and Adolescents With Neuromuscular Disorders

The objective of this study was to determine physical function and activity level in children and adolescents with neuromuscular disorders. Seventeen children and adolescents between the ages of 10 to 18 years with neuromuscular disorders who were ambulatory participated. Physical function was measured using the Hammersmith Motor Ability Scale and the Six-Minute Walk Test. Physical activity (PA) level was measured using the SenseWear Armband activity monitor. Activities were recorded using a questionnaire. Results were compared with previous data published for peers who are healthy and public recommendations. Hammersmith Motor Ability Scale scores were lower than normal values. Results of the Six-Minute Walk Test were substantially lower than results for peers who are healthy. Time in PA and the number of steps were significantly lower on holidays and slightly lower on weekdays compared with the values for peers who are healthy. No vigorous activity was registered.


The study found this group of subjects to have lower physical function and PA levels than peers who were healthy. The small, heterogeneous sample made generalizations difficult and multicenter studies were suggested.