Before advising children with chronic disease about appropriate physical activity, the desired outcomes and the possible limiting factors should be determined.
The role of exercise
The benefits of exercise in the healthy paediatric population are well known. What is less well described, however, is the potential therapeutic effect of an exercise program in children with chronic disease. In this article, five chronic childhood disorders have been selected as examples to illustrate the benefits of and possible limitations to exercise in special paediatric populations. The conditions described are obesity and insulin resistance, type 1 diabetes, cystic fibrosis, juvenile idiopathic arthritis and haemophilia.