Higher Physical Activities May Improve Teenage Bone Health


Pre-teens and young girls who participate in moderate to high impact sports such as gymnastics, basketball or football are more likely to have better bone mass, structure and strength, according to a study.

The Swedish study assessed whether additional physical education classes would impact bone parameters in growing children and measured the impact of school-based exercise on the distribution of cortical bone mass in the tibia. .

A total of 170 children (72 girls and 98 boys) received 200 minutes of physical education per week and three other schools (44 girls and 47 boys) continued with the standard 60 minutes.

The researchers found that the moderate-intensity school-based physical activity intervention, initiated before puberty, was associated with higher cortical bone resistance in the tibia with region-specific gains in the distribution of cortical bone mass in girls, but not in boys.

The girls had 2.5% greater cortical thickness and a 6.9% greater Polar Stress-Strain Index (SSI) at the 66% tibia, which was accompanied by volumetric cortical bone mineral density. significantly higher than the controls.

This increases the likelihood that the physical activity intervention contributed to positive skeletal adjustment rather than selection bias based on body size.

“The results of this study specifically highlight the benefits of increasing the time spent in physical education classes at school, especially for girls, during the important stage of bone development around adolescence.

“It is important to note that optimizing bone mass and strength in young people has a positive impact on bone health and the prevention of fractures in adulthood,” said Jesper Fritz, researcher at the ‘University of Lund, Sweden.

Consistent with the results of previous school intervention studies, the results were different for boys and girls.

The authors of the study, published in the journal International Osteoporosis Foundation, concluded that because the girls were less active, extra-curricular physical activity that included a wide range of weight-bearing activities was sufficient to elicit skeletal adaptations. positive.

The boys in the study were already performing an average of three hours per week of physical activity before the start of the intervention, and therefore the additional physical activity was not sufficient to elicit additional bone adaptation.

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