Effects of an intrahospital exercise program intervention for children with leukemia

Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2007 Jan;39(1):13-21. doi: 10.1249/01.mss.0000240326.54147.fc.


Purpose: The purpose was to investigate the effect of a 16-wk intrahospital supervised conditioning program including both resistance and aerobic training and a 20-wk detraining period on measures of aerobic fitness, muscular strength, functional mobility, ankle range of motion, and quality of life (QOL) in children receiving treatment for acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL).

Methods: Seven children (four boys, three girls; age: 5.1 +/- 1.2 yr, body mass: 24.0 +/- 5.8 kg, height: 114.6 +/- 7.7 cm) in the maintenance phase of treatment against ALL performed three sessions per week for 16 wk of resistance (one set of 8-15 repetitions of 11 exercises) and aerobic training (30 min at > 70% HRmax) followed by 20 wk of detraining where no structured exercise program was performed. Before training, after training, and after detraining, a treadmill test determining .VO2peak and ventilator threshold (VT), muscular strength (6RM), functional mobility (timed up and down stairs test, time up and go 3-m and 10-m tests), passive and dynamic ankle range of motion, and self-reported quality of living were determined.

Results: After training, significant increases in .VO2peak, VT, upper- and lower-body muscular strength, and all measures of functional mobility were shown (P < 0.05). Muscular strength was well maintained (significantly greater than before training and no significant decrease from after training) during detraining, whereas .VO2peak, VT, and functional mobility (not significantly different from before training but no significant decrease from after training) were only partially retained.

Conclusion: Young children in the maintenance phase of treatment against ALL can safely perform both aerobic and resistance training. Training results in significant increases in measures of aerobic fitness, strength, and functional mobility. During detraining, strength and functional mobility are well maintained, whereas .VO2peak and VT are partially maintained.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Exercise / physiology*
  • Female
  • Hospitals, Pediatric*
  • Humans
  • Leukemia*
  • Male
  • Program Evaluation
  • Quality of Life
  • Spain
  • Weight Lifting / physiology*