Physical activity (PA) is essential for children throughout their growth and maturation. It improves physiological and psychological health and limits the risk of developing metabolic disorders. However, some chronic physiological and metabolic diseases may lead to decreased PA. The diversity of outcomes in the literature offers no consensus for physical activity and sedentary levels in children with juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA) or inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).
A literature review and a meta-analysis were carried out with original studies from a Medline database search. Only high-quality studies (STROBE checklist) written in English comparing PA level or sedentary behavior (SB) between children with the disorders and their healthy peers were considered. The aim was to examine PA and SB in children with JIA or IBD compared to their healthy peers.
The literature review and meta-analysis identified decreased PA and increased time spent in SB in these populations, which may exacerbate both their lower physical fitness and the symptoms of their health disorders.
Results nevertheless show discrepancies due to the different materials and methods used and the variables measured. Further studies are needed to establish a gold standard method for assessing PA level in these populations.
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