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Invited Commentary
August 17, 2020

Physical Activity Level During Adolescence—Possible Ways to Apply the Knowledge Gathered

Author Affiliations
  • 1Institute of Sport Science, University of Graz, Graz, Austria
  • 2Research Group on Lifestyles and Health, University of Pernambuco, Brazil
JAMA Netw Open. 2020;3(8):e2013900. doi:10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2020.13900

Elhakeem et al1 observed that a higher level of physical activity during adolescence was associated with higher hip bone mineral density (BMD) at age 25 years. More specifically, adolescents who spent more time in moderate to vigorous–intensity physical activity had higher BMD at age 25 years, whereas the associations between light-intensity physical activity and BMD were less consistently observed. Using data from the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children, the authors monitored a considerable number of participants throughout adolescence (ages 12, 14, and 16 years) to young adulthood (age 25 years), identifying 3 patterns of light-intensity and moderate to vigorous–intensity physical activity. In our interpretation, there is 1 key message in this study: a higher intensity of physical activity during adolescence, especially early adolescence, plays an important role in later BMD.

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