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More Time in Gym Class Equals Stronger Kids

SATURDAY, May 11 (HealthDay News) -- Spending more time in physical education classes helps students develop muscle strength and doesn't increase their risk of broken bones, a new study finds.

The study included more than 900 girls and boys at a school in Sweden who had up to 200 minutes of physical education a week for two years. A control group of students continued with the standard amount of 60 minutes of physical education each week.

The children who had more physical education time developed greater muscle mass and strength than those in the control group, according to the study, published in the May issue of the journal Medicine & Science in Sports and Exercise.

The findings "could have important implications on public health guidelines and recommendations for school-based physical activity," study author Dr. Bjarne Lofgren, of Lund University in Sweden, said in a journal news release.

"Regular weight-bearing exercise has been shown to consistently improve bone mass, structure and strength during childhood and adolescence," Lofgren said. "It can also help reduce the risk of musculoskeletal diseases later on in adult years."

Previous research has shown that students who get more exercise do better in the classroom.

More information

The Nemours Foundation has more about children and exercise.

SOURCE: Medicine & Science in Sports and Exercise, news release, April 23, 2013

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Disclaimer: This information is not intended to substitute or replace the professional medical advice you receive from your child's physician. The content provided on this page is for informational purposes only, and was not designed to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease. Please consult your child's physician with any questions or concerns you may have regarding a medical condition.