Physical activity and sedentary behavior following pediatric burns: a preliminary investigation using objective activity monitoring

Moniek Akkerman, Leonora J Mouton, Laurien M Disseldorp, Anuschka S Niemeijer, Marco van Brussel, Lucas H V van der Woude, Marianne K Nieuwenhuis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Background: Adequate levels of regular physical activity (PA) are crucial for health and well-being. Pediatric burn injuries can have major physiological consequences in both the short and long term. The question is whether these consequences affect post burn PA levels. This study therefore aimed to describe PA and sedentary behavior (SB) in children and adolescents 1-5 years after burn injury.

Methods: Daily PA and SB were monitored in 20 children and adolescents (12 boys and 8 girls, aged 6-17 years, with burns covering 10-37% of total body surface area, 1-5 years post burn) for 1 week using the ActiGraph GTX3+ accelerometer. Activity counts were categorized into SB, light PA, moderate PA, vigorous PA, moderate-to-vigorous PA (MVPA), and total PA. Outcomes were compared with non-burned reference values and PA levels recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO).

Results: The participants spent about 5.1 h per day on total PA and 7.4 h on SB. Most of the active time (~ 83%) was categorized as light PA. Thirty-five percent of the group, especially the young boys, spent on average ≥ 60 min on MVPA per day. The boys, although with large interindividual differences, spent more time on MVPA than the girls (p < .005). Older age was associated with less PA time, while more time was spent sedentary. No trends were found indicating an effect of burn characteristics, time post burn, or length of hospital stay, and no differences were found with non-burned peers.

Conclusion: Duration and intensity of PA and SB in children and adolescents 1-5 years after burn injury were similar to non-burned peers. However, only 35% of the group met the WHO physical activity recommendation. Given the increased long term risk for physical conditions following pediatric burns, physical activity should be encouraged in this vulnerable population.

Trial registration: The study is registered in the National Academic Research and Collaborations Information System of the Netherlands (OND1348800).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4
JournalBMC Sports Science, Medicine and Rehabilitation
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • children
  • burn patients
  • sedentary behavior
  • physical activity
  • monitoring


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