September 3, 2019

Physical Activity Levels are Lower Among People Living with Epilepsy

How physically active and sedentary people with epilepsy are is unclear.

This research team conducted a meta-analysis to investigate physical activity and sedentary behavior levels compared with the general population in people with epilepsy across the lifespan. Embase, PubMed, PsycARTICLES, and CINAHL Plus were searched from inception until 1/3/2019. A random effects meta-analysis was conducted.

Adults with epilepsy (mean age range = 30-47 years) were significantly less likely to comply with physical activity recommendations [odds ratio (OR) = 0.68; 95% confidence interval (CI) = 0.53-0.87; P < 0.001; N analyses = 10; n epilepsy = 1599; n controls = 137,800] and more likely to be inactive (as defined by individual study criteria) (OR = 1.57; 95% CI = 1.34-1.84; P < 0.001; N analyses = 6; n epilepsy = 6032; n controls = 928,184). Data in children (mean age range = 10-12 years) were limited (N = 4; n = 170) and inconsistent while there were no data available for middle-aged and old age (>65 years) people with epilepsy.

These data demonstrate that adults with epilepsy are less physically active than the general population. Public health campaigns specifically targeting the prevention of physical inactivity in adults with epilepsy are warranted. More research on physical activity and sedentary levels in children, adolescents, middle-aged, and old age but also adult people with epilepsy is needed before specific recommendations can be formulated.

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