Physical Activity in Childhood May Be the Key to Optimizing Lifespan Skeletal Health

Gunter, Katherine B.1; Almstedt, Hawley C.2; Janz, Kathleen F.3

Exercise & Sport Sciences Reviews:
doi: 10.1097/JES.0b013e318236e5ee
Articles
Abstract

Physical activities undertaken in childhood, particularly activities, which apply large forces quickly convey optimal benefits to bone mass, size, and structure. Evidence is accumulating that benefits persist well beyond activity cessation. This review examines the potential for early childhood activity to improve bone mineralization and structure and explores childhood activity as prevention for osteoporosis in later life.

In Brief

Physical activity during childhood improves bone mineralization and structure and may act as a preventive modality against osteoporosis later in life.

Author Information

1School of Biological and Population Health Sciences, College of Public Health and Human Sciences Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR; 2Department of Health and Human Sciences, Loyola Marymount University, Los Angeles, CA; and 3Department of Health and Human Physiology and Department of Epidemiology, University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA

Address for correspondence: Katherine B. Gunter, Ph.D., School of Biological and Population Health Sciences, College of Public Health and Human Sciences, Oregon State University, 161 Milam Hall, Corvallis, OR 97331 (E-mail: Kathy.gunter@oregonstate.edu).

Accepted for publication: August 30, 2011.

Associate Editor: Stewart G. Trost, Ph.D., FACSM

©2012 The American College of Sports Medicine