Assessment of measures of physical activity of children with cerebral palsy at home and school: A pilot study

Cindy H SIT, Catherine Mamaid CAPIO, Ester CERIN, Thomas L MCKENZIE

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Home and school are important settings where children can accrue health promoting physical activity (PA). Little is known about the PA levels and associated environmental characteristics at home and school in children with cerebral palsy (CP). An observational tool - Behaviors of Eating and Activity for Children’s Health Evaluation System (BEACHES) - offers potential for providing information.

Objective: To validate BEACHES against Actigraph accelerometer and to document PA of children with CP at a special residential school facility for children with physical disabilities.

Methods: Five children with CP (2 girls, 3 boys; aged 9.82 ± 2.39 years) in Level I of the Gross Motor Function Classification System (GMFCS) participated. PA monitoring was conducted once a week during four consecutive weeks at morning recess at school and during after school hours at the children’s residence. Estimates of time spent being sedentary and being active were derived from the Actigraph and compared to estimates obtained with BEACHES.

Results: Children’s PA observed using BEACHES was comparable to the Actigraph estimations. In general, children were more active at recess than after school and the physical locations assessed by BEACHES were associated with objectively measured PA time.

Conclusion: This pilot study indicates that BEACHES appears to be a suitable measure of PA for children with CP in both home and school settings. Additional study with a larger and more diverse sample is recommended to verify the results. Copyright © 2013 Sit CH, et al. 
Original languageEnglish
Article number112
JournalJournal of Child and Adolescent Behavior
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2013



Sit, C. H., Capio, C. M., Cerin, E., & McKenzie, T. L. (2013). Assessment of measures of physical activity of children with cerebral palsy at home and school: A pilot study. Journal of Child and Adolescent Behavior, 1(3). Retrieved from


  • Physical activity
  • Cerebral palsy
  • Home and school
  • Observation
  • Children