An investigation of Physical Activity levels in Asthmatic Children: A Service Evaluation Study
Objective: To investigate the physical activity levels in asthmatic children in relation to asthma control and body mass index (BMI). Design: A service evaluation study. Participants: 21 boys and 16 girls between the ages of 5 and 14 were recruited from The Royal Hospital for Sick Children (Edinburgh) asthma clinic following recent exacerbation of their condition. Participants were excluded if they suffered from any other health conditions or physical disabilities which may have affected their ability to exercise. Main Outcome Measures: The Physical Activity Questionnaire for Children (PAQ-C) was administered to participants along with the Asthma Control Test (ACT) to assess asthma severity and control. BMI in relation to age and sex was also calculated for each child. Results: Only weak correlations were evident between variables. The results suggest that children with poor asthma control and high BMI participate in less physical activity, whilst those with a higher BMI were shown to have better asthma control. In addition, physical activity levels appeared lower in older children. Conclusion: It can be concluded that physical activity participation is generally low in this population, indicating a need for intervention. Although significant results were not achieved, this study provides a basis for further research in the field.