Activity limitation refers to a person's inability, due to a chronic physical, mental, emotional, or behavioral condition, to participate fully in age-appropriate activities. Age-appropriate activities for children ages 5–17 consist of a child's ability to complete regular school work and perform other activities, including self-care and walking. Activity limitation is a broad measure of health and functioning affected by a variety of chronic health conditions. The causes of activity limitation most often reported by parents of children ages 5–17 include learning disabilities, speech problems, and other mental, emotional, and behavioral problems.131
NOTE: Children are identified as having activity limitation by asking parents (1) whether children receive special education services and (2) whether they are limited in their ability to walk, care for themselves, or participate in other activities. "Activity limitation indicated by participation in special education" only includes children identified solely by their use of special education services. "Activity limitation indicated by all other limitations" includes limitations in self-care, walking, or other activities; children in this category may also receive special education services. Chronic health conditions are conditions that once acquired are not cured or have a duration of 3 months or more.
SOURCE: National Center for Health Statistics, National Health Interview Survey.
131 National Center for Health Statistics. (2010). Health, United States, 2009: With Special Feature on Medical Technology. Limitation of activity: Children (pp. 38–39). Hyattsville, MD: Author.