Baseline preoperative physical activity for surgical patients varies from healthy population controls

Hassan MK Ghomrawi*, Benjamin Many, Yazan Rizeq, Lauren M. Baumann, Jonathan Vacek, Elissa Port, Soyang Kwon, Fizan Abdullah

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Background: Preoperative physical activity (PA) is an important reference point to evaluate recovery, yet is not attainable for emergent surgical admissions. We investigated the validity of PA of healthy children recruited from within the same community as surgical patients and a nationally representative sample as alternative baseline PA for pediatric surgical patients. Methods: Patients undergoing an elective operation were matched to community-recruited healthy controls (CRHC) on sex, age, and weight, and their PA was assessed using an Actigraph accelerometer. National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) Actigraph PA data were used as a nationally representative match for baseline PA. Surgical patients wore the accelerometer for 2 days preoperatively, CRHC for 2 days, and NHANES participants for 7 days. PA was categorized as light (LPA) or moderate vigorous (MVPA). Means were compared between the 3 groups. Results: Thirty patients were matched with 80 CRHC and 3147 NHANES participants. LPA was similar between surgical patients and CRHC. However, CRHC averaged 19 min/day more MVPA than surgery patients (p = 0.04), and both groups averaged 58 min and 67 min/day higher MVPA than the matched NHANES sample, respectively (p < 0.01). Conclusions: CRHC LPA was similar to preoperative LPA in surgical patients and may be an alternative. Level of Evidence: Level II.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)959-963
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of pediatric surgery
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2020


  • Accelerometers
  • Pediatrics
  • Physical activity
  • Recovery
  • Surgery

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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