Br J Sports Med 36:250-257 doi:10.1136/bjsm.36.4.250
  • Review

Is there a critical period for bone response to weight-bearing exercise in children and adolescents? a systematic review

  1. K J MacKelvie1,
  2. K M Khan1,2,
  3. H A McKay1
  1. 1School of Human Kinetics, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, Canada
  2. 2Department of Family Medicine, University of British Columbia
  1. Correspondence to:
 Dr Khan, School of Human Kinetics, University of British Columbia, 6081 University Blvd, Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z1, Canada;
  • Accepted 25 February 2002


This systematic review examines and compares the bone mineral changes in children and adolescents, as measured by dual energy x ray absorptiometry, reported in exercise intervention studies. The effects of hormonal factors and growth on bone mineral change during puberty are examined, and the possibility of a critical period during which bone is especially adaptable to exercise is discussed.