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Ann Rheum Dis 62:885-889 doi:10.1136/ard.62.9.885
  • Extended report

Physical activity and health related physical fitness in children with juvenile idiopathic arthritis

  1. T Takken1,
  2. J van der Net1,
  3. W Kuis2,
  4. P J M Helders1
  1. 1Department of Paediatric Physical Therapy, University Hospital for Children and Youth “Het Wilhelmina Kinderziekenhuis”, University Medical Centre Utrecht, Utrecht, The Netherlands
  2. 2Department of Paediatric Immunology, University Hospital for Children and Youth “Het Wilhelmina Kinderziekenhuis”, University Medical Centre Utrecht, Utrecht, The Netherlands
  1. Correspondence to:
    Dr P J M Helders, Department of Paediatric Physical Therapy, University Hospital for Children and Youth “Het Wilhelmina Kinderziekenhuis”, University Medical Centre Utrecht, Room KB.02.056, PO Box 85090, 3508 AB Utrecht, The Netherlands;
    p.j.m.helders{at}wkz.azu.nl
  • Accepted 20 January 2003

Abstract

Objective: To obtain insight into the interaction between daily physical activity and components of health related physical fitness in children with juvenile idiopathic arthritis.

Methods: Forty five patients (10 male/35 female; mean (SD) age 8.9 (2.2) years) participated in the study. Body mass, height, skinfold thickness, number of swollen joints, and joint range of motion were determined. The maximal oxygen consumption (Vo2peak) was assessed during a graded maximal bicycle exercise test. Daily physical activity levels were measured with a Caltrac activity monitor and a parental physical activity rating (PAL) on a five point Likert scale.

Results: Partial correlation coefficients (to control for age) between physical activity and indices of health related physical fitness showed significant relationships between Caltrac motion counts and absolute Vo2peak (r=0.31) and relative Vo2peak (r=0.34), but not with the indices of body composition. There was also a significant correlation between PAL and relative Vo2peak (r=0.33).

Conclusions: Physical activity was significantly related to cardiorespiratory fitness but not to body composition in children with juvenile idiopathic arthritis. A longitudinal follow up should show whether an active lifestyle protects for loss of aerobic fitness in this patient group.

Footnotes