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DiMarco, N M.1; Greathouse, L V.1; Essery, E V.1; Kallio, A K.1; Nichols, D L.1; Sanborn, C F. FACSM1

Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise: May 2003 - Volume 35 - Issue 5 - p S76
B-13L Free Communication/Poster Bone and Connective Tissue

1Texas Woman's University, Denton, TX

Physical activity is an important factor in decreasing the risk for osteoporosis. With increased attention being paid to the lack of physical activity, poor nutrition, and the increased rates of obesity among our children, there is a need to further explore these associations.

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To examine the relationship between physical activity, bone parameters and BMI in elementary students.

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Testing was performed on K-5th grade students, ages 5–12 years, at the beginning of the academic year and included determination of BMI (wt in kg/ht in m2), pDEXA of the forearm (n = 176), and ultrasound of the heel (n = 132). In addition, physical activity and health history questionnaires were collected and evaluated. Physical activity was divided into quintiles, and data were analyzed using ANOVA and post-hoc comparisons.

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Mean data for all children were television viewing (hr/d), 1.9 ± 1.6, physical activity (min/week), 623 ± and activities/week, 3.4 ± 1.6. Mean physical parameters were weight (kg), 37.0 ± 13.0, height (cm), 135.8 ± 11.6, and BMI (kg/m2), 19.6 ± 4.4. ANOVA revealed that when pairwise comparisons between physical activity and pDEXA measurements (BMD) were made, those children who had the greatest amount of physical activity each week had significantly greater BMD at the proximal and distal radius compared to those in the lowest physical activity quintile (.563 ± .096 vs .496 ± .060 g/cm2, respectively;.272 ± .042 vs .222 ± .034 g/cm2, respectively). In addition, stiffness index (80.15 ± 14.79 vs 66.55 ± 9.17) measured by ultrasound was also positively associated with increasing amounts of physical activity. There were no significant differences between quintiles of physical activity and BMI.

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Physical activity positively impacts bone density in young growing children. Funded by: General Mills, Inc.

©2003The American College of Sports Medicine