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Dyn Med. 2008 Apr 28;7:8. doi: 10.1186/1476-5918-7-8.

A school-curriculum-based exercise intervention program for two years in pre-pubertal girls does not influence hip structure.

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Clinical and Molecular Osteoporosis Research Unit, Department of Clinical Sciences, Lund University, Sweden.



It is known that physical activity during growth has a positive influence on bone mineral accrual, and is thus possibly one strategy to prevent osteoporosis. However, as bone geometry, independent of areal bone mineral density (aBMD), influences fracture risk, this study aimed to evaluate whether hip structure in pre-pubertal girls is also affected by a two-year exercise intervention program.


Forty-two girls aged 7-9 years in a school-curriculum-based exercise intervention program comprising 40 minutes of general physical activity per school day (200 minutes per week) were compared with 43 age-matched girls who participated in the general Swedish physical education curriculum comprising a mean of 60 minutes per week. The hip was scanned by dual energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) and the hip structural analysis (HSA) software was applied to evaluate bone mineral content (BMC, g), areal bone mineral density (aBMD, g/cm2), periosteal diameter, cross-sectional area (CSA, cm2), section modulus (Z, cm3) and cross-sectional moment of inertia (CSMI, cm4) of the femoral neck (FN). Annual changes were compared. Subjective duration of physical activity was estimated by questionnaire and objective level of everyday physical activity at follow-up by means of accelerometers worn for four consecutive days. All children remained at Tanner stage 1 throughout the study. Group comparisons were made by independent student's t-test between means and analyses of covariance (ANCOVA).


At baseline, the two groups did not differ with regard to age, anthropometrics or bone parameters. No between-group differences were observed for annual changes in the FN variables measured.


A two-year school-based moderately intense general exercise program for 7-9-year-old pre-pubertal girls does not influence structural changes in the FN.

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