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Pediatr Res. 2013 Oct;74(4):439-42. doi: 10.1038/pr.2013.113. Epub 2013 Jul 3.

Reduction of exercise capacity in children from summer to winter is associated with lower sporting activity: a serial study.

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  • 1Institute of Preventive Pediatrics, Technische Universität München, München, Germany.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Declining activity in children over the past decades is thought to be one of the main risk factors for an early development of exercise intolerance and obesity. Taking this background into account, this prospective study investigated the seasonal change of children's physical activity and its association with objective measures of exercise capacity.

METHODS:

A total of 96 children from two schools in Munich (42 girls, age 12.4 ± 0.8 y) underwent a cardiopulmonary exercise test (CPET) and an assessment of their daily activities (school sport, club sport, leisure sport) twice. Baseline testing was conducted in summer 2011. Follow-up examination was performed during winter 2012.

RESULTS:

From summer to winter, self-reported sporting activity decreased from 10.6 ± 4.1 to 8.5 ± 4.3 h/wk (P < 0.001) as school sport (P < 0.001) and leisure sport activities (P = 0.002) decreased, but the activity associated with club sport did not (P = 0.700). In parallel, peak oxygen uptake (VO2) declined from 102.0 ± 17.5 to 96.9 ± 17.9 % of predicted (P < 0.001). This decline in VO2 was associated with a reduction in overall sporting activity (r = 0.234; P < 0.032).

CONCLUSION:

Enhancing sporting activity in children during winter might be important to maintaining their exercise capacity.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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