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The purpose of this study was to examine the physical activity (PA) of children with physical disabilities (PD) and its associated environmental and behavioral factors at home and at school. One hundred and forty-seven Hong Kong children (mean age = 13.5 ± 2.5 years) with PD from three special schools participated. We used BEACHES (Behaviors of Eating and Activity for Children’s Health: Evaluation System) to assess their PA and associated variables at home (before dinner) and during four school settings (before classes, recess, lunch breaks, after classes) on four school days. Overall, the children were typically inactive and spent little time in moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA), range = 6.3% to 17.0% across settings. At home, children were more active when fathers were present (p < 0.001). At school, prompts to be active contributed to their MVPA% before classes (p < 0.01) and during recess and lunch breaks (both p < 0.001). The presence of a child’s mother was positively associated with MVPA% before classes (p < 0.001) and the presence of other children was associated with MVPA% during recess and lunch breaks (both p < 0.05). With children with PD accruing small amounts of MVPA in both home and school settings, multifaceted interventions reflecting both contextual and personal factors should be considered in order to increase the health-enhancing PA of this population.


Mary MacKillop Institute for Health Research

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Open Access Journal Article

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Open Access