Article

Calcified Tissue International

, Volume 83, Issue 4, pp 243-250

A 3-Year Physical Activity Intervention Program Increases the Gain in Bone Mineral and Bone Width in Prepubertal Girls but not Boys: The Prospective Copenhagen School Child Interventions Study (CoSCIS)

  • H. A. HasselstrømAffiliated withInstitute for Exercise and Sport Sciences, University of Copenhagen Email author 
  • , M. K. KarlssonAffiliated withDepartment of Clinical Sciences, Clinical and Molecular Osteoporosis Research Unit, Lund University
  • , S. E. HansenAffiliated withTeam Denmark
  • , V. GrønfeldtAffiliated withInstitute for Exercise and Sport Sciences, University of Copenhagen
  • , K. FrobergAffiliated withInstitute of Sports Science and Clinical Biomechanics, University of Southern Denmark, Odense University
  • , L. B. AndersenAffiliated withInstitute of Sports Science and Clinical Biomechanics, University of Southern Denmark, Odense UniversityDepartment of Sports Medicine, Norwegian School of Sport Sciences

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Abstract

The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of increasing the amount of time spent in physical education classes on bone mineral accrual and gain in bone size in prepubertal Danish children. A total of 135 boys and 108 girls, aged 6–8 years, were included in a school-based curriculum intervention program where the usual time spent in physical education classes was doubled to four classes (180 min) per week. The control group comprised age-matched children (62 boys and 76 girls) recruited from a separate community who completed the usual Danish school curriculum of physical activity (90 min/week). Dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry was used to evaluate bone mineral content (BMC; g), bone mineral density (g/cm2), and bone width at the calcaneus and distal forearm before and after 3 years of intervention. Anthropometrics and Tanner stages were evaluated on the same occasions. General physical activity was measured with an accelerometer worn for 4 days. In girls, the intervention group had a 12.5% increase (P = 0.04) in distal forearm BMC and a 13.2% increase (P = 0.005) in distal forearm scanned area compared with girls in the control group. No differences were found between the intervention and control groups in boys. Increasing the frequency of physical education classes for prepubertal children is associated with a higher accrual of bone mineral and higher gain in bone size after 3 years in girls but not in boys.

Keywords

Exercise intervention Bone mineral density Bone size Children Population based