The role of fitness in health and disease: status of adults with cerebral palsy

Authors

  • DEBORAH THORPE PT PHD PCS

    1. Division of Physical Therapy, Center for Human Movement Science, School of Medicine, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC, USA.
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  • CONFLICTS OF INTEREST
    The author declares no conflicts of interest.

Deborah Thorpe, Division of Physical Therapy, Center for Human Movement Science, School of Medicine, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 3006 Bondurant Hall, Chapel Hill, NC 27599-7135, USA. E-mail: dthorpe@med.unc.edu

Abstract

Physical activity has significant health benefits and is positively associated with health-related quality of life and psychosocial functioning. Persons with disability are at particular risk of inactivity. For adults with cerebral palsy (CP), impaired health and function typically impede participation in physical activity, setting into motion a downward spiral of prolonged inactivity. Adults with CP may not be engaging in sufficient physical activity to produce the improvements in fitness required to experience associated health benefits. However, the literature related to physical activity and fitness in adults with CP is sparse. As more and more persons with CP lead productive lives into their golden years, it is imperative that the scientific community provide definitive information to help guide decisions related to the type and extent of fitness-related activities most beneficial to these individuals. This information will facilitate development of physical training programs that promote maintenance of function and fitness while preventing the onset of secondary conditions. This presentation will address the state-of-the-science regarding physical activity and fitness for adults with CP and how fitness training relates to physical activity and health in this population. Gaps in the evidence, as well as possible directions for future research, will be presented.

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