High-intensity training increases spontaneous physical activity in children: a randomized controlled study

J Pediatr. 2010 Feb;156(2):242-6. doi: 10.1016/j.jpeds.2009.08.039. Epub 2009 Oct 20.


Objective: To test the hypothesis that resistance training may increase spontaneous physical activity in children.

Study design: Two junior ice hockey teams were randomly assigned to unchanged training schedules (team ZSC, 21 boys; mean age, 13.2 years) or to participate twice weekly in guided resistance training for 4 months (team GCK, 25 boys; mean age, 13.4 years). Spontaneous physical activity energy expenditure (SpAEE; 3-axial accelerometry for 7 days), muscle strength, and body composition (dual energy x-ray absorptiometry) were measured at 0, 4, and 12 months.

Results: Baseline measures did not differ in the groups, except for higher leg and trunk strength in team ZSC. In the intervention group compared with the control group, SpAEE significantly (P < or = .02) increased at 4 months (+25.5% versus 0%) and 12 months (+13.5% versus -9.5%). Leg and arm strength increased because of training intervention; all other variables were unchanged. None of these variables correlated with changes in SpAEE.

Conclusion: In boys who play ice hockey, spontaneous physical activity is inducible with resistance training; this effect seems to be independent of changes in body composition and strength. If this was confirmed in unselected children, resistance training might be a new strategy for childhood obesity prevention programs.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Body Composition
  • Child
  • Energy Metabolism
  • Exercise*
  • Health Behavior*
  • Hockey
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Muscle Strength
  • Obesity / prevention & control*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Resistance Training / methods*
  • Statistics, Nonparametric
  • Switzerland