Exercise-induced bronchoconstriction (EIB) is a sign of uncontrolled childhood asthma and classically occurs after exercise. Recent research shows that EIB frequently starts during exercise, called breakthrough-EIB (BT-EIB). It is unknown whether this more severe type of EIB forces children to adapt their physical activity (PA) pattern in daily life. Therefore, this pilot study aims to investigate daily life PA (amount, intensity, duration, and distribution) in children with BT-EIB, ‘classic’ EIB, and without EIB. A Fitbit Zip activity tracker was used for one week to objectively measure daily life PA at one-minute intervals. Thirty asthmatic children participated. Children with BT-EIB were less physically active compared to children without EIB (respectively 7994 and 11,444 steps/day, p = .02). Children with BT-EIB showed less moderate-to-vigorous PA compared to the children without (respectively 117 and 170 minutes/day, p = .02). Children with EIB (both BT and classic) had significant shorter bouts of activity and a less stretched distribution of bout lengths compared to the non-EIB group (all p < .05). These results emphasize a marked association between EIB severity and PA patterns in daily life, stressing the need for a thorough clinical evaluation of exercise-induced symptoms in childhood asthma.
- Exercise challenge test
- Exercise-induced bronchoconstriction
- Pediatric asthma
- Physical activity pattern