Background: Bronchiectasis is a major contributor to respiratory morbidity and healthcare utilization in children. Children with bronchiectasis exhibit low levels of physical activity (PA) and poor fundamental movement skills (FMS) may be a contributing factor. However, there are no data on FMS’s in this population. The current study assessed FMS proficiency in children with bronchiectasis and examined associations with objectively measured PA.
Methods: Forty-six children with bronchiectasis (mean age 7.5 ± 2.6 year, 63% Male) were recruited from the Queensland Children’s Hospital, Brisbane. PA was measured using the ActiGraph GT3X + accelerometer. Raw accelerometer data were processed into daily time spent in sedentary activities, light-intensity activities and games, walking, running, and moderate-to-vigorous activities and games using a random forest (RF) PA classification algorithm specifically developed for children. Daily MVPA was calculated by summing time spent in walking, running, and moderate-to-vigorous activities and games. FMS were assessed using the Test of Gross Motor Development 2nd Edition (TGMD-2).
Results: Fewer than 5% of children demonstrated mastery in the run, gallop, hop, and leap; while fewer than 10% demonstrated mastery for the two-handed strike, overarm throw, and underarm throw. Only eight of the 46 children (17.4%) achieved their age equivalency for locomotor skills, while just four (8.7%) achieved their age equivalency for object control skills. One-way ANCOVA revealed that children achieving their age equivalency for FMS had significantly higher levels of MVPA than children not achieving their age equivalency (51.7 vs 36.7 min/day). When examined by the five activity classes predicted by the RF algorithm, children achieving their age equivalency exhibited significantly greater participation moderate-to-vigorous intensity activities and games (22.1 vs 10.7 min/day). No significant differences were observed for sedentary activities, light-intensity activities and games, walking, and running.
Conclusion: Children with bronchiectasis exhibit significant delays in their FMS development. However, those who meet their age equivalency for FMS proficiency participate in significantly more daily MVPA than children who do not meet their age-equivalency. Therapeutic exercise programs designed to improve FMS proficiency are thus likely to be beneficial in this population.