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J Sports Med Phys Fitness. 2012 Aug;52(4):432-6.

Daily quality physical education in childhood and adult bone density.

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Department of Physical Activity Sciences, Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières, Trois-Rivières, Québec, Canada.



Previous studies, mainly of self-selected athletes, have suggested that childhood activities can have a prolonged influence on bone mineral density. This investigation explored whether experimentally assigned daily quality physical education (PE) during childhood influenced bone density at an age of 42.8±1.5 years.


Participants from the Trois-Rivières Longitudinal Study were divided into 4 groups: the first 2 groups (19 women and 21 men) had received 5 h/week of specialist-taught PE in primary school in 1970-1977, whereas the third and fourth groups (10 women and 10 men) had followed the standard PE programme of 40 min/week.


Bone densities, measured by dual X-ray absorptiometry (lumbar vertebrae and femoral neck), did not differ significantly between experimental and control subjects.


This result may reflect a normal or even a faster decrease of bone mineral density in experimental subjects over the 30 years since completion of the program, or an intervention that was designed to enhance cardiorespiratory and muscular fitness rather than bone health.

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