Questions about the different aspects of physical activity (PA) are commonly asked in the clinical setting, yet their compatibility for use with children, particularly children with obesity (OB) is uncertain. Our aim was to investigate different PA-related questions when compared to an objective maximal cardiopulmonary exercise test (CPET) or validated questionnaires. For this study, 33 normal-weight (NW) (5 to less than 85% BMI percentile) and 35 OB (≥95% BMI percentile) children responded to three self-report PA questions evaluating PA domains (exercise capacity, limitations, and the maintenance of an active lifestyle); they also completed a maximal CPET and two validated questionnaires: the New York Heart Association (NYHA) questionnaire and the international physical activity questionnaire (IPAQ). The results regarding the NW children were highly compatible with their self-reports about exercise capacity (85%), whereas the compatibility was low (40%) in the OB group (p < 0.001). Both OB and NW groups had moderate compatibility between the self-report and objective findings regarding their exercise limitations and lifestyle with no significant differences between the groups. These findings suggest that it is inadvisable to rely on a single-item question by which to assess PA in OB children, and no definite conclusions regarding PA status should be drawn. NW children are more compatible with self-reporting their overall exercise capacity, with more limited compatibilities observed when self-reporting their limitations or lifestyle.
Bibliographical notePublisher Copyright:
© 2022 by the authors.
- cardiopulmonary exercise testing
- children self-report
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health