The impact on children's bone health of a school-based physical education program and participation in leisure time sports: the Childhood Health, Activity and Motor Performance School (the CHAMPS) study, Denmark

Prev Med. 2013 Aug;57(2):87-91. doi: 10.1016/j.ypmed.2013.04.015. Epub 2013 Apr 30.


Objective: To evaluate the effect of a school based physical education (PE) program and the amount of leisure time sport (LTS) on children's bone health and to examine if LTS influences the impact of school type on children's bone health.

Methods: Children attending "sports" schools (6 × 45 min PE lessons per week) were compared to children at "traditional" schools (2 × 45 min of PE lessons per week) in Svendborg, Denmark. Whole-body DXA scans were performed at baseline (2008) and at a two-year follow-up (2010). Bone mineral content (BMC), bone mineral density (BMD), and bone area (BA) were measured. Multilevel regression analyses examined the impact of school type and LTS participation on bone.

Results: 742/800 (93%) invited children accepted to participate. 682/742 (92%) participated at two-year follow-up. Mean (SD) age was 9.5 years (0.9) at baseline. A positive association between LTS and BMC, BMD (p<0.001) and for BA (p<0.05) (total body less head (TBLH) and lower limb (LL)) was found. All effects regarding school type were insignificant.

Conclusion: A positive impact of attending LTS on bone traits was found. There was no effect on BMC, BMD and BA (TBLH, and LL) for children attending sports schools compared to traditional schools.

Keywords: BA; BMC; BMD; BMI; Bone health; DXA; Dual energy X-ray absorptiometry; LL; LTS; PBM; Physical activity; SMT-TQ; Short Messaging Service-Track-Questionnaire; TBLH; body mass index; bone area; bone mineral content; bone mineral density; dual energy X-ray absorptiometry; leisure time sport; lower limb; peak bone mass; total body less head.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Absorptiometry, Photon
  • Bone Density*
  • Bone Development*
  • Child
  • Denmark
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Health Promotion
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Physical Education and Training*
  • School Health Services / statistics & numerical data*
  • Sports / physiology*
  • Students / statistics & numerical data