Role of physical activity in the development of skeletal mass in children

Charles W. Slemenda, Judy Z. Miller, Siu L. Hui, Teresa K. Reister, C. Conrad Johnston

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

428 Scopus citations


A group of 118 children, aged 5.3-14 years, were enrolled in a prospective study of calcium supplementation and bone mass. At entry to the study, questionnaires regarding the child's usual physical activity were administered to the children and their mothers. Repeated activity assessments at 6 month intervals indicated good within-person agreement for total activity and for most individual activities. Consistent positive associations were observed between bone mineral densities (BMD) in the radius, spine, and hip and most activities. A summary measure (total hours of weight-bearing activity) was significantly releated to BMD in the radius and hip, independently of age or gender effects. Self-reported sports and play activities were associated with BMD, but neither time spent watching television nor hours of physical education classes were associated either positively or negatively with skeletal mass. These data suggest that important increments in skeletal mass may result from physical activity during childhood.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1227-1233
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Bone and Mineral Research
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 1991

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine

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