Research Study Abstract

Assessment of Measures of Physical Activity of Children with Cerebral Palsy at Home and School: A Pilot Study

  • Published on Oct. 27, 2013

Background Home and school are important settings where children can accrue health promoting physical activity (PA). Little is known about the PA levels and associated environmental characteristics at home and school in children with cerebral palsy (CP). An observational tool – Behaviors of Eating and Activity for Children’s Health Evaluation System (BEACHES) – offers potential for providing information.

Objective To validate BEACHES against Actigraph accelerometer and to document PA of children with CP at a special residential school facility for children with physical disabilities.

Methods Five children with CP (2 girls, 3 boys; aged 9.82 ± 2.39 years) in Level I of the Gross Motor Function Classification System (GMFCS) participated. PA monitoring was conducted once a week during four consecutive weeks at morning recess at school and during after school hours at the children’s residence. Estimates of time spent being sedentary and being active were derived from the Actigraph and compared to estimates obtained with BEACHES.

Results Children’s PA observed using BEACHES was comparable to the Actigraph estimations. In general, children were more active at recess than after school and the physical locations assessed by BEACHES were associated with objectively measured PA time.

Conclusion This pilot study indicates that BEACHES appears to be a suitable measure of PA for children with CP in both home and school settings. Additional study with a larger and more diverse sample is recommended to verify the results.


  • Cindy H. Sit 1, 2
  • Catherine M. Capio 2
  • Ester Cerin 2, 3
  • Thomas L. McKenzie 4


  • The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Dept. of Sports Science and Physical Education


  • The University of Hong Kong, Institute of Human Performance


  • Deakin University, School of Exercise and Nutrition Science, Australia


  • San Diego State University, School of Exercise and Nutritional Sciences



Journal of Child and Adolescent Behavior


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