Abstract

Background: This study quantified and compared weekday and weekend patterns of device-measured physical activity (PA) and sedentary behavior between youth with pediatric multiple sclerosis (MS) and controls for the purpose of informing future PA behavior change interventions.

Methods: Participant data were obtained from three ongoing observational studies, and the sample included 40 participants with pediatric MS and 41 controls. Light PA (LPA), moderate-to-vigorous PA (MVPA), and sedentary behavior data were collected using activity monitors (ActiGraph LLC) over 1 week. The main analysis involved a two-way mixed factor analysis of variance with group as a between-subjects factor (pediatric MS vs control) and day as a within-subjects factor (weekday vs weekend day).

Results: There was no group × day interaction from the analysis of variance for percentage of activity monitor wear time spent in LPA, MVPA, or sedentary behavior. There was no effect of group for LPA, MVPA, or sedentary behavior. There was an effect of day of week on percentage of day spent in LPA, MVPA, and sedentary behavior.

Conclusions: These results suggest that youth with pediatric MS and controls were less physically active and more sedentary on weekends than on weekdays, but there were no differences between groups in PA and sedentary behavior overall or by day of the week. Physical activity interventions may be more successful by initially targeting weekend day activity.

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