Physical Activity in Boys With Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy Is Lower and Less Demanding Compared to Healthy Boys

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Abstract

This study describes the amount of physical activity and perception of physical activity in boys with Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) compared to healthy boys. A questionnaire described 6 domains of physical activity. Four Duchenne muscular dystrophy subgroups were made: early and late ambulatory, nonambulatory with relative good, or limited arm function. Eighty-four boys with Duchenne muscular dystrophy (15.0 ± 6.4 years) and 198 healthy boys (14.0 ± 4.3 years) participated. Daily activities were more passive for boys with Duchenne muscular dystrophy. Physical activity was less and low demanding compared to healthy boys. It decreased with disease severity (P < .05), whereas screen time increased (P < .05). Benefits of physical activity in boys with Duchenne muscular dystrophy were having fun and making friends. Barriers were lack of sport facilities and insufficient health. This study helps to quantify poor engagement in physical activity by boys with Duchenne muscular dystrophy, and demonstrates factors that contribute to it. Suggestions to stimulate physical activity are made.

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