Evaluation of the physical activity in children with functional gastrointestinal disorders

  • Olga Belousova Scientific and Educational Institute of Postgraduate Education of Kharkiv National Medical University https://orcid.org/0000-0003-4983-1713
  • Larysa Kazarian Scientific and Educational Institute of Postgraduate Education of Kharkiv National Medical University https://orcid.org/0000-0002-4286-5606
Keywords: functional gastrointestinal disorders, functional dyspepsia, irritable bowel syndrome, children, physical activity


Abstract. Functional gastrointestinal disorders have been known for centuries. However, this concept appeared quite recently, and is currently a common pediatric problem. Interest in functional pathology is fully justified and understandable: despite the fact that functional diseases of the gastrointestinal tract do not pose a direct threat to the patient’s life, they significantly reduce the quality of his life. The problem of functional disorders is also complicated by the fact that they affect all strata of society, regardless of age, socio-economic status, gender or race. The active process of studying the clinical and anamnestic features of various nosological forms, predictors of functional disorders, combined functional disorders and prevention approaches is also due to significant economic damage due to direct and indirect costs of their treatment. The prevalence of functional gastrointestinal disorders in the world reaches 40.3 %, and among children's gastro pathology they occupy one of the leading places. More than half of children of various age groups have at least one of the symptoms, which is a cause of concern for both the child and the parents, as well as entails a violation of the microclimate in the family. The peak prevalence of various symptoms of disorders of the gastrointestinal tract occurs at school age and adolescents, who almost fill the appointment of a pediatrician and a pediatric gastroenterologist. If we trace the evolution of ideas about functional disorders of the digestive organs, it can be noted that it changed many times and influenced the understanding of the pathogenesis and, especially, the etiology of this nasology. According to the Rome Consensus IV (2016), functional gastrointestinal disorders are defined as disorders of the interaction of the «gut-brain» axis, taking into account this concept, a lot of time has been devoted to studying the role of various factors: genetic predisposition, infection theory, nature of feeding at an early age, hormonal imbalance, psychological state, food preferences, lifestyle and physical activity. An important aspect of studying predictors of functional bowel disorders is the level of physical activity of children and adolescents. In the process of studying literary data, it was noted that the role of insufficient physical activity in the development of functional gastrointestinal disorders remains not fully determined. Most of the materials are related to the adult population and critically few among children. That complicates the study of forecasting and prevention of a more severe course of functional dyspepsia and irritable bowel syndrome, and, as a consequence, to optimize therapy. The aim of the study was to assess the level of physical activity in children with FGID. Materials and methods. 72 children aged 8–14 with FGIR were observed. I group of study included 26 patients with combined functional dyspepsia (FD) and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), the II group – 46 patients with FD. The control group included 22 healthy children. The diagnosis of FD and IBS were established based on the analysis of clinical symptoms according to the Rome IV criteria (2016). The PAQ-C questionnaire, developed by K. Kowalski, P. Kroker, and R. Donen, was used to assess PA in children. Research results. The total PA index in children with combined FD and SPC was 1,87 ± 0,07 and was lower compared to the group of children with FD (2,21 ± 0,05; p < 0,05) and the control group (2,75 ± 0,05; p < 0,01). The total PA index in children with FD is lower than in the control group (p < 0,01). Conclusion. Insufficient physical activity can be considered a risk factor for the development of functional gastrointestinal disorders in children.


Download data is not yet available.

Author Biographies

Olga Belousova , Scientific and Educational Institute of Postgraduate Education of Kharkiv National Medical University

MD, PhD, Professor, Head of the Department of Pediatrics and Neonatology № 3 Scientific and Educational Institute of Postgraduate Education of Kharkiv National Medical University, 4, Nauky av., Kharkiv, 61022

Larysa Kazarian , Scientific and Educational Institute of Postgraduate Education of Kharkiv National Medical University

postgraduate student of  the Department of Pediatric and Neonatology № 3 Scientific and Educational Institute of Postgraduate Education of Kharkiv National Medical University, 4, Nauky av., Kharkiv, 61022


Sperber AD, Bangdiwala SI, Drossman DA, et al. Worldwide Prevalence and Burden of Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders, Results of Rome Foundation Global Study. Gastroenterology. 2021;160(1):99–114.e3. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1053/j.gastro.2020.04.014

Drossman DA, Tack J, Ford AC, Szigethy E, Törnblom H, Van Oudenhove L. Neuromodulators for Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders (Disorders of Gut-Brain Interaction): A Rome Foundation Working Team Report. Gastroenterology. 2018;154(4):1140–1171.e1. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1053/j.gastro.


Holtmann G, Shah A, Morrison M. Pathophysiology of Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders: A Holistic Overview. Dig Dis. 2017;35 Suppl 1:5–13. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1159/000485409

Jones MP, Faresjö Å, Beath A, Faresjö T, Ludvigsson J. Abdominal Pain in Children Develops With Age and Increases With Psychosocial Factors. Clin Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2020;18(2):360–367.e1. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cgh.2019.04.036

Pesce M, Cargiolli M, Cassarano S, et al. Diet and functional dyspepsia: Clinical correlates and therapeutic perspectives. World J Gastroenterol. 2020;26(5):456–465. DOI: https://doi.org/10.3748/


Koloski NA, Jones M, Walker MM, Holtmann G, Talley NJ. Functional dyspepsia is associated with lower exercise levels: A population-based study. United European Gastroenterol J. 2020;8(5):577–583. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1177/2050640620916680

Costa RJS, Snipe RMJ, Kitic CM, Gibson PR. Systematic review: exercise-induced gastrointestinal syndrome-implications for health and intestinal disease. Aliment Pharmacol Ther. 2017;46(3):246–265. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/apt.14157

Jurdana, M., & Barlič Maganja, D. (2023). Regular Physical Activity Influences Gut Microbiota with Positive Health Effects. IntechOpen. DOI: https://doi.org/10.5772/intechopen.110725

Sohail MU, Yassine HM, Sohail A, Thani AAA. Impact of Physical Exercise on Gut Microbiome, Inflammation, and the Pathobiology of Metabolic Disorders. Rev Diabet Stud. 2019;15:35-48. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1900/RDS.2019.15.35

Valdés-Ramos R, Martínez-Carrillo BE, Aranda-González II, et al. Diet, exercise and gut mucosal immunity. Proc Nutr Soc. 2010;69(4):644-650. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/S0029665110002533Valdés-

Basso JC, Suzuki WA. The Effects of Acute Exercise on Mood, Cognition, Neurophysiology, and Neurochemical Pathways: A Review. Brain Plast. 2017;2(2):127–152. Published 2017 Mar 28. DOI: https://doi.org/10.3233/BPL-160040

Matsuzaki J, Suzuki H, Masaoka T, Tanaka K, Mori H, Kanai T. Influence of regular exercise on gastric emptying in healthy men: a pilot study. J Clin Biochem Nutr. 2016;59(2):130–133. DOI: https://


Mitchell J. Physical Inactivity in Childhood from Preschool to Adolescence. ACSMs Health Fit J. 2019;23(5):21–25. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1249/fit.0000000000000507

Krotenko VI, Mishchenko OE. Transformatsiia poniattia internet-zalezhnosti yak formy adyktyvnoi povedinky v konteksti didzhytalizatsii suchasnoho suspilstva. Naukovyi chasopys.2022;43:105–115 DOI: https://doi.org/10.31392/NPU-nc.series19.2022.43.11 [Ukraine]

Tymofiyeva O, Yuan JP, Kidambi R, et al. Neural Correlates of Smartphone Dependence in Adolescents. Front Hum Neurosci. 2020;14:564629. Published 2020 Oct 7. DOI: https://doi.org/10.3389/


Sadeghian M, Sadeghi O, Hassanzadeh Keshteli A, Daghaghzadeh H, Esmaillzadeh A, Adibi P. Physical activity in relation to irritable bowel syndrome among Iranian adults. PLoS One. 2018;13(10):e0205806. Published 2018 Oct 18. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0205806Sadeghian M

Seidenfaden S, Ormarsson OT, Lund SH, Bjornsson ES. Physical activity may decrease the likelihood of children developing constipation. Acta Paediatr. 2018;107(1):151–155. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/


WHO Child Growth Standards Department of Nutrition for Health and Development https://www.who.int/tools/child-growth-standards

Kowalski KC, Crocker PRE, Honours RDBsc/ The Physical Activity Questionnaire for Older Children (PAQ-C) and Adolescents(PAQ-A)Manual(2004). August 2004, College of Kinesiology, University of Saskatchewan, 87 Campus Drive, Saskatoon, SK, Canada, S7N 5B2. Available from: https://www.prismsports.org/UserFiles/file/PAQ_manual_ScoringandPDF.pdf

How to Cite
Belousova , O., & Kazarian , L. (2023). Evaluation of the physical activity in children with functional gastrointestinal disorders. The Journal of V. N. Karazin Kharkiv National University, Series "Medicine&quot;, (47), 25-32. https://doi.org/10.26565/2313-6693-2023-47-03