Relation between physical fitness and gross motor capacity in children and adolescents with cerebral palsy
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AIM: To examine the relation between physical fitness and gross motor capacity in children with cerebral palsy (CP) who were classified in Gross Motor Function Classification System levels I or II. METHOD: In total, 68 children with CP (mean age 12y 1mo, SD 2y 8mo; 44 males, 24 females; 45 classified as having spastic unilateral CP, 23 as having spastic bilateral CP) participated in this study. All participants performed a maximal aerobic exercise test (10m Shuttle Run Test), a short-term muscle power test (Muscle Power Sprint Test), an agility test (10x5m sprint test), and a functional muscle strength test (30s repetition maximum) within 2 weeks. Gross motor capacity was concurrently assessed using dimensions D (standing) and E (walking, running, and jumping) of the 88-item version of the Gross Motor Function Measure (GMFM). RESULTS: No relation between aerobic capacity, body mass index, and dimensions D and E of the GMFM was found. The correlations between short-term muscle power, agility, functional muscle strength, and dimensions D and E of the GMFM were moderate to high (r approximately 0.6-0.7). INTERPRETATION: The relations found between short-term muscle power, agility, functional muscle strength, and gross motor capacity indicate the importance of these components of physical fitness, and may direct specific interventions to maximize gross motor capacity in children and adolescents with CP.
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