The Effect of RaceRunning on cardiometabolic disease risk factors and functional mobility in young people with moderate-to-severe cerebral palsy: A feasibility study

  • van der Linden, Marietta L. (Principal Investigator)
  • Ryan, Jennifer M. (Co-investigator)
  • Poufaki, Pelly (Co-investigator)
  • Theis, Nicola (Co-investigator)
  • Anokye, Nana K. (Principal Investigator)
  • Phillips, Shaun (Principal Investigator)

Project Details


Physical inactivity in people with cerebral palsy (CP) has been linked with increased risk of cardiometabolic disease. Exercise studies rarely include people with CP with severe walking impairments and assess the sustainability of the intervention. RaceRunning allows people severe walking impairments to independently propel themselves using a running bike, which has a breast plate for support but no pedals. This project will assess the feasibility of at trial into the effectiveness of RaceRunning to reduce cardiometabolic disease risk factors and improve functional mobility. Intervention: Weekly standardised RaceRunning sessions over 6 months led by an experienced coach. Participants Twenty-five young people with CP aged 5-21, GMFCS levels III-V. Feasibility outcomes: Acceptability of RaceRunning, adherence and fidelity of the intervention, recruitment and retention rates and adverse events. Outcome measures: Cardiometabolic disease risk factors (physical activity, sedentary time, resting heart rate and blood pressure and aerobic capacity) and functional mobility assessed at baseline, 3 and 6 months. Quality of life (EQ-5D-Y) and health service use will inform a future costeffectiveness analysis. Aspects of feasibility and acceptability and the variability and patterns of the change in outcomes will be reported using descriptive statistics.

Layman's description

Background: Physical inactivity among people with cerebral palsy (CP) starts in early childhood and persist throughout the lifespan. Low levels of physical activity are associated with risk factors for cardiometabolic disease such as heart disease and type 2 diabetes mellitus. For young people with CP with moderate-to-severe difficulties walking, taking part in physical activities is especially challenging. Previous studies investigating the effects of exercise programmes for people with CP have rarely included these people. Another problem with previous studies is that most did not assess sustainability in the long term, i.e. whether people continued with the exercise programme once the study was finished. “RaceRunning” ( allows those who are unable to walk or propel a wheelchair, to move themselves using a running bike that has a breastplate for support and saddle but no pedals. As such, Running bikes allow people with moderate-to-severe CP to take part in ‘aerobic’ activities (activities which makes your feel out of breath), whilst using their legs and trunk with the potential to improve muscle function and functional mobility. Objectives. The aim of this project is to explore the feasibility of a study investigating whether taking part in RaceRunning can reduce the risk of cardiometabolic disease and improve functional mobility. Clinical benefits. The proposed project fits with the AMR remits of child health, preventing disease and alleviating physical disability through an assistive device. The focus of this study on cardiometabolic risk factors has a clear clinical relevance for health in later life given the high incidence of cardiometabolic disease in this population. Potential improvement in participant’s functional mobility may also positively affect people’s quality life and functional independence.
Effective start/end date1/02/19 → …


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