We estimated the association between bronchial responsiveness and hours of exercise per week in children with and without asthma. A random sample of school children (n = 2188), 6-16 years old, was enrolled in a cross-sectional study of asthma in Oslo using the ISAAC questionnaire. Lung function and bronchial responsiveness (BR) using methacholine was measured in a random sample of 80 children with asthma, wheeze and no asthma/no wheeze. The relation between hours of exercise per week and BR [log (DRS)] was estimated by linear regression. Sex and age were included as covariates. Hours of exercise were categorized in: none, 30 min, 1 h, 2-3 h, 4-6 h and 7 h or more. The mean values of log (DRS) were different in the low and high exercise groups for children with asthma (P = 0.02), whereas there was no effect of exercise on BR for children without asthma. BR increased with decreasing hours of exercise per week in children with asthma. The bronchial responsiveness decreased with 0.11 (95% CI -0.20, -0.01) pr unit in scale. This pattern was not present in children without asthma. The results suggest that there is a relation between hours of exercise per week and bronchial responsiveness in children with asthma.