A long-term study carried out in four Swedish schools evaluated whether extra physical education classes would have an impact on bone parameters in growing children. The seven-year study specifically measured the impact of school-based exercise on “tibia cortical bone mass distribution.”
A total of 170 children (72 girls and 98 boys) from one school were provided with 200 minutes of physical education per week, and three other schools (44 girls and 47 boys) continued with the standard 60 minutes. The participating schools were within the same geographic area, with a similar socioeconomic and ethnic structure.
The researchers found that “…the 7-year moderately intense school-based physical activity intervention, initiated pre-puberty, was associated with higher tibia cortical bone strength accompanied by region-specific gains in cortical bone mass distribution in girls, but not in boys. Girls had 2.5% greater cortical thickness and 6.9% greater polar stress-strain index (SSI) at the 66% tibia, which was accompanied by significantly greater cortical volumetric bone mineral density compared to controls (all P <0.05).”
Study author Dr Jesper Fritz of Lund University, Skåne University Hospital, Malmö, stated, “Findings of previous studies have shown that increased physical activity is associated with greater bone mass and strength in adolescents. The findings of this study specifically underline the benefits of increasing the amount of time dedicated to school physical education classes, particularly for girls, during the important stage of bone development around adolescence. Importantly, optimizing bone mass and strength in youth has a positive impact on bone health and fracture prevention in adulthood.”
As a Certified Athletic Trainer and the founder of Fitness for Health, a therapeutic, exercise facility working with children through senior citizens in the Washington, DC, area, I routinely hear parents’ opinions that many schools and education organizations do not place enough emphasis on PE class.
Fitness for Health is proud to work with our local schools to ensure PhysEd remains top of mind because,in my opinion, by finding that physical fitness can be fun from an early age, children are encouraged to maintain physical activity into their adulthood. In this regard, PE class can help decrease childhood obesity rates which in turn reduces heart attacks, high blood pressure and cholesterol, and future bone and joint loss.
So, PE class is essential to the future health of our children!
Do want your kids to get off the couch? Concerned about their weight management? Searching for a physical activity where your children will have fun and want to keep coming back? Fitness for Health’s Healthy Heart class is just the ticket. Your kids will have a blast while breaking a sweat with our heart-pumping, exergaming program. Using our state-of-the-art equipment, kids will get fit, feel good and get healthy.
This program is a cardio clinic used to help children that are overweight. It is a successful product of our collaboration with Potomac Pediatrics to help improve kids’ health and fitness for kids.
Join the fight against childhood obesity and register for our Healthy Heart program today!