INTRODUCTION: To determine physical activity (PA) avoidance and its associated factors among children with type 1 diabetes in four situations: leisure time (LT) PA out of school, LT PA at school during breaks, attendance at physical education (PE) classes and activity during PE classes.
METHODS: Cross-sectional study. The cohort consisted of 137 children, aged 9-18 years, with type 1 diabetes registered at a tertiary center between August 2019 and February 2020, 92 of whom attended for face-to-face interview. Responses were rated on a 5-point-Likert scale for PA in the four situations. Never/rarely/occasionally responses were defined as avoidance. Chi-square, parametric/non-parametric comparison and multivariate logistic regression analysis were used to detect and confirm variables associated with each avoidance situation.
RESULTS: Among the children 46.7% avoided PA during LT out of school and 52.2% during breaks, 15.2% avoided PE classes and 25.0% avoided active play during PE classes. Older children (14-18 year-olds) avoided PE classes [odds ratio (OR)=6.49, 95% confidence interval (CI)=1.10-38.13] and PA during breaks [OR=2.85, 95% CI=1.05-7.72] and girls avoided PA out of school (OR=3.18, 95% CI=1.18-8.06) and during breaks (OR=4.12, 95% CI=1.49-11.40). Those who had a sibling (OR=4.50, 95% CI=1.04-19.40) or had a poorly-educated mother (OR=3.63, 95% CI=1.15-11.46) avoided PA during breaks and those from low-income households avoided PE classes (OR=14.93, 95% CI=2.23-99.67). As the duration of disease prolonged, avoiding PA during LT out of school increased (4-9 years; OR=4.21, 95% CI=1.14-15.52 and ≥10 years; OR=5.94, 95% CI=1.20-29.36).
DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSION: Adolescence, gender, and socioeconomic inequalities deserve greater focus for better PA behavior among young people with type 1 diabetes. As the disease duration prolongs, revising and strengthening intervention to encourage PA may be needed.