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Associations between physical activity and asthma, eczema and obesity in children aged 12–16: an observational cohort study
  1. Russell Jago1,2,
  2. Ruth E Salway1,
  3. Andy R Ness3,4,
  4. Julian P Hamilton Shield3,
  5. Matthew J Ridd5,
  6. A John Henderson6
  1. 1 Centre for Exercise, Nutrition and Health Sciences, School for Policy Studies, University of Bristol, Bristol, UK
  2. 2 National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Collaboration for Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care West (CLAHRC West) at University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust, Bristol, UK
  3. 3 NIHR Biomedical Research Centre at the University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust and the University of Bristol, Bristol, UK
  4. 4 Bristol Dental School, University of Bristol, Bristol, UK
  5. 5 Centre for Academic Primary Care, Population Health Sciences, Bristol Medical School, University of Bristol, Bristol, UK
  6. 6 Population Health Sciences, Bristol Medical School, University of Bristol, Bristol, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Russell Jago; russ.jago{at}bristol.ac.uk

Abstract

Objectives To compare the physical activity of adolescents with three common long-term conditions (asthma, eczema and obesity) with adolescents without these conditions.

Design Cross-sectional and longitudinal analyses of adolescents at ages 12, 14 and 16 in a large UK cohort study.

Setting The Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children.

Participants 6473 adolescents with complete accelerometer data at at least one time point.

Methods Mean minutes of moderate to vigorous intensity physical activity (MVPA) and sedentary time per day were derived from accelerometer-based measurements at ages 12, 14 and 16. Obesity was defined at each time point from height and weight measurements. Parents reported doctor-assessed asthma or eczema. Cross-sectional and longitudinal regression models examined any differences in MVPA or sedentary time for adolescents with asthma, eczema or obesity compared with those without.

Results In longitudinal models, boys engaged in an average of 69.7 (95% CI 67.6 to 71.7) min MVPA at age 12, declining by 3.1 (95% CI 2.6 to 3.6) min/year while girls’ average MVPA was 47.5 (95% CI 46.1 to 48.9) min at age 12, declining by 1.8 (95% CI 1.5 to 2.1) min/year. There was no strong evidence of differences in physical activity patterns of those with and without asthma or eczema. Obese boys engaged in 11.1 (95% CI 8.7 to 13.6) fewer minutes of MVPA, and obese girls in 5.0 (95% CI 3.3 to 6.8) fewer minutes than their non-obese counterparts. Cross-sectional models showed comparable findings.

Conclusions Mean minutes of MVPA per day did not differ between adolescents with asthma or eczema and those without, but obese adolescents engaged in fewer minutes of MVPA. Findings reinforce the need for strategies to help obese adolescents be more active but suggest no need to develop bespoke physical activity strategies for adolescents with mild asthma or eczema.

  • alspac
  • physical activity
  • obesity
  • eczema
  • asthma
  • cohort

This is an open access article distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 Unported (CC BY 4.0) license, which permits others to copy, redistribute, remix, transform and build upon this work for any purpose, provided the original work is properly cited, a link to the licence is given, and indication of whether changes were made. See: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.

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Footnotes

  • Contributors Conception/design, revising and final approval: all authors. Methodology: RJ, RES, MJR, AJH, ARN, JPHS. Data analysis: RES. Drafting: RJ, RES.

  • Funding The UK Medical Research Council and Wellcome (Grant ref: 102215/2/13/2) and the University of Bristol provide core support for ALSPAC. This publication is the work of the authors and AJH, ARN, RES and RJ will serve as guarantors for the contents of this paper. A comprehensive list of grants funding is available on the ALSPAC website. Physical activity data collection was supported by the US National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (R01 HL071248-01A). RJ is partly supported by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Collaboration for Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care West (CLAHRC West) at University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust. The NIHR Biomedical Research Centre at University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust and the University of Bristol supports ARN and JPH-S. MJR is funded by a National Institute for Health Research Post-Doctoral Research Fellowship (PDF-2014-07-013).

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent Parental/guardian consent obtained.

  • Ethics approval ALSPAC Ethics and Law Committee and the Local Research Ethics Committees.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Data sharing statement This is a secondary data analysis based on data from the ALSPAC cohort. The access policy for the ALSPAC data can be found at http://www.bristol.ac.uk/media-library/sites/alspac/documents/researchers/data-access/ALSPAC_Access_Policy.pdf.

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