Accelerometer-measured physical activity levels in children and adolescents with autism spectrum disorder: A systematic review

Xiao Liang, Ru Li, Stephen H.S. Wong, Raymond K.W. Sum, Cindy H.P. Sit (Corresponding Author)

Research output: Journal article publicationReview articleAcademic researchpeer-review

44 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Associations between physical activity (PA) and health benefits are well documented. Evidence indicates that children and adolescents with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) are less physically active than their typically developing peers. The purpose of this systematic review is to provide a comprehensive summary of the PA levels of children and adolescents with ASD and the associated factors that affect their PA levels by applying a socio-ecological model (SEM). Seven databases (PubMed, CINAHL, SPORTDiscus with Full Text, MEDLINE, EMBASE, ERIC, and PsychINFO) were searched in June 2019 to identify studies examining accelerometer-measured PA and factors affecting the PA levels of children and adolescents with ASD, aged 6–17 years. Two researchers independently screened studies, assessed methodological quality, and summarized relevant data. Twenty-one studies were included in the detailed review. Only 42% of the participants met the PA guidelines (i.e., children and adolescents aged 5–17 years should do at least 60 min of moderate to vigorous PA daily). By applying the SEM, multi-level factors ranging from intrapersonal to community levels that positively or negatively influenced PA levels in children and adolescents with ASD were identified. This review indicates that children and adolescents with ASD have low PA levels, and that there are multi-level factors that affect their PA. There is a pressing need to design effective PA interventions that promote activity accrual in the school, family, and community settings for children and adolescents with ASD.

Original languageEnglish
Article number101147
JournalPreventive Medicine Reports
Volume19
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2020
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Autism spectrum disorders
  • Physical activity guidelines
  • Schools
  • Socio-ecological model

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Informatics
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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