Influence of a School-based Physical Activity Intervention on Cortical Bone Mass Distribution: A 7-year Intervention Study

Jesper Fritz, Rachel L. Duckham, Timo Rantalainen, Björn E. Rosengren, Magnus K. Karlsson, Robin M. Daly

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (SciVal)


Cortical bone mass and density varies across a bones length and cross section, and may be influenced by physical activity. This study evaluated the long-term effects of a pediatric school-based physical activity intervention on tibial cortical bone mass distribution. A total of 170 children (72 girls and 98 boys) from one school were provided with 200 min of physical education per week. Three other schools (44 girls and 47 boys) continued with the standard 60 min per week. Tibial total and cortical area, cortical density, polar stress–strain index (SSI), and the mass and density distribution around the center of mass (polar distribution, mg) and through the bones cortex (radial distribution subdivided into endo-, mid-, and pericortical volumetric BMD: mg/cm3) at three sites (14, 38, and 66 %) were assessed using peripheral quantitative computed tomography after 7 years. Girls in the intervention group had 2.5 % greater cortical thickness and 6.9 % greater SSI at the 66 % tibia, which was accompanied by significantly greater pericortical volumetric BMD compared to controls (all P <0.05). Region-specific differences in cortical mass were also detected in the anterior, medial, and lateral sectors at the 38 and 66 % tibial sites. There were no group differences at the 14 % tibia site in girls, and no group differences in any of the bone parameters in boys. Additional school-based physical education over seven years was associated with greater tibial structure, strength, and region-specific adaptations in cortical bone mass and density distribution in girls, but not in boys.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)443-453
Number of pages11
JournalCalcified Tissue International
Issue number5
Early online date2016 Jul 12
Publication statusPublished - 2016 Nov

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Orthopedics
  • Sport and Fitness Sciences


  • Bone distribution
  • Children
  • Physical activity
  • pQCT


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