Children with asthma face a number of barriers to participation in physical activity, from family beliefs to school disorganization to their own misperceptions about their symptoms, the authors of a new research review say.
But given the multiple benefits of exercise, Dr. Brian Williams of the University of Dundee in Scotland and colleagues conclude, physical activity is essential to kids with asthma, and efforts must be made to remove these barriers.
Research has shown that exercise can boost aerobic fitness in asthmatic children, and may also have psychological benefits as well, they report in the journal BMC Family Practice.
“The overwhelming majority of studies show that people with asthma can exercise safely if medicated appropriately and can significantly improve their cardiovascular fitness and quality of life by doing so,” they add.
To investigate the level of physical activity among children with asthma, Williams and his team undertook a review of medical literature, including 61 studies in their analysis.
Several studies showed that children and young people with asthma do tend to be less active than their peers without the disease. One study even found that pre-schoolers with wheezing were less active than their classmates without asthma.
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