Table 1

Characteristics of the included studies

Author (year)InterventionN I/CMean age, years (range)*Outcome measures
Ahmaidi (1993)26▸ Running on an outdoor track on Vth ▸ 3 months, 3/week, 60 min/sessionN=20 10/1015.2 (12–17)▸ Cardiorespiratory: Wmax, Vth, VO2max, O2pulsemax, HRmax
Basaran (2006)3▸ Moderately intensive basketball training ▸ 8 weeks, 3/week, 60 min/sessionN=62 31/3110.4 (7–15)▸ Pulmonary: FEV1, FVC, MEF, PEF ▸ Medication and symptom scores, PAQLQ, PWC170, 6MWT
Chang (2008)27▸ Tai Chi Chuan. I.N.S. ▸ 12 weeks, 3/week, 40 min/sessionN=30 15/15I=9.1,C=9.4▸ Pulmonary: FVC, FEV1, PEF ▸ Symptom severity
Counil (2003)28▸ Individualised aerobic training on a cycle ergometer at AT heart rate ▸ 6 weeks, 3/week, 45 min/sessionN=16 9/713 (10–16)

▸ Pulmonary:FEV1, FVC, FEF25–75, sGaw, V50, FRC, dFEV1 ▸ Aerobic fitness: VO2max, MAP, HRmax, VEmax, VR, AT, VO2 at AT, O2pulse. Anaerobic fitness: PP, F0, V0
Dean (1988)29▸ Course of physical activity. I.N.S. ▸ 5 daysN=21 11/10No data on age▸ Pulmonary: PEF. Bronchial lability ▸ Diary cards (wheeze, activity, medication)
Edenbrandt (1990)30▸ Circuits, game, swimming. I.N.S. ▸ 12 months, 1/week, 60 min/sessionN=41 20/21Age range: (7–13)▸ Pulmonary: VC, FEV1, VTGCardiorespiratory: working capacity
Fanelli (2007)31▸ Aerobic exercise training. HR at 2/3 of the Δ AT-RCP ▸ 16 weeks, 2/week, 90 min/sessionN=38 21/1711.5 (7–15)▸ Pulmonary: FEV1, FEV1%, FVC %, MVV ▸ EIB: FEV1 decline. Inhaled steroids use, PAQLQ ▸ Cardiorespiratory: W, VO2, O2 pulse, dyspnoea
Fitch (1986)32▸ Running and running games at intensity (HRrest+75%(HRmax−HRrest)). ▸ 3 months, 4/week, 60 min/sessionN=26 10/1611.9 (10–14)▸ Pulmonary: minute ventilation, mean Vt ▸ Cardiorespiratory fitness: VO2max ▸ Mass, body fat
Graff)Lonnevig (1980)33▸ Circuit training. I.N.S. ▸ 20 months, 2/week, 60 min/sessionN=20 11/911.2 (9.2–13.6)▸ Pulmonary: TLC, FVC, FEV1. Haemoglobin, heart volume ▸ Cardiorespiratory: Wmax VO2max, VEmax, HRmax.
Henriksen (1983)34▸ Physical training programmes. I.N.S. ▸ 6 weeks, 2/week, 90 min/sessionN=42 28/14I=11, C=10▸ Pulmonary: Resting PEF, FEV1 ▸ EIB: FEV1 and PEF. Cardiorespiratory fitness: HRrest, HRmax
Holzer (1984)35▸ Home exercise programme of sprints, push-ups and running. I.N.S. ▸ 3 months, daily, 30 min/dayN=69 37/32Age range=(8–14) ▸ Pulmonary: FVC, FEV1, FEF25–75% ▸ MIP, MEP ▸ Cardiorespiratory: Wmax, V(C)O2max, VEmax, RQ, HRmax
Huang (1989)36▸ Swimming. I.N.S. ▸ 2 months, 3/week, 60 min/sessionN=90 45/45Age range=(6–12)▸ Emergency room visit, hospitalisations, daily medications, school absenteeism, wheezing, Asthma attacks
King (1989)37▸ Stretching, calisthenics, strength and breathing exercises, interval training. I.N.S. ▸ 3 months, 2/week, 90 min/sessionN=12 6/6I=13.0 (SD 0.94), C=11.7 (SD 1.2)▸ EIB: FEV1,, FVC, PEFR, MMEF decline ▸ Cardiorespiratory: VO2max, peak treadmill running velocity, lactate. Medication usage, asthma episodes
Lima (2008)38▸ Respiratory therapy at 40% of MIP ▸ 7 weeks, 2/week, 50 min/sessionN=50 25/259.7 (8–12)▸ Pulmonary: PEF ▸ MIP, MEP, Severity variables
Matsumoto (1999)39▸ Swimming at 125% of personalised LT ▸ 6 weeks, 6/week, 30 min/sessionN=16 8/810.2 (8–12)▸ Aerobic capacity (work load at LT), BHP ▸ EIB: FEV1 decline
Moreira (2008)40▸ Submaximal aerobic training. I.N.S. ▸ 12 weeks, 2/week, 50 min/sessionN=34 17/1712.7

▸ Pulmonary: FEV1, FEF25–75, Highest PEF amplitude ▸ Inflammation, BHP, PAQLQ+PACQLQ
Neder (1999)41▸ Aerobic ergometer training at or above individualised AT ▸ 2 months, 3/week, 30 min/sessionN=42 26/1612.4 (8–16)▸ Pulmonary: FEV1. EIB: FEV1 decline ▸ Cardiorespiratory: VO2max %pred, VO2max, VO2 at AT/VO2max, O2 pulse. Medication score >3
Onur (2010)42▸ Bicycle training at 80% of submax HR ▸ 8 weeks, 2/week, 60 min/sessionN=30 15/159.8 (8–13)▸ Pulmonary: FEV1%, FVC%. Oxidant stress: MDA, NO ▸ Antioxidant markers: GSH-Px, SOD
Orenstein (1985)43▸ Running programme at 70–85% of personalised HRmaxo 4 months, 3/week, 30 min/sessionN=36 23/13Age range=(6–16)▸ Pulmonary: VC, FEV1/FVC, MVV ▸ Cardiorespiratory: VO2peak, O2pulsepeak, HR60W, HRpeak, RERpeak, working capacity. Asthma severity
Sidiropoulou (2007)44▸ Interval soccer training alternating 100 s 50–60% with 20 s 80–90% HRmax ▸ 8 weeks, 3/week, 45 min/sessionN=29 18/1111.3 (10–14)▸ Pulmonary: FEV1 ▸ 6 min running test
Silva (2006)45▸ Physical training, swim training. I.N.S. ▸ 4 months, 2/week, 90 min/sessionN=69
Age range=(8–11)▸ 9 min run distance ▸ Cardiorespiratory fitness: HRrest. Number of sit ups
Sly (1972)46▸ Swimming and breath exercises. I.N.S. ▸ 3 months, 3/week, 120 min/sessionN=24
Age range=(9–13)▸ Pulmonary: VC, FEV1 ▸ Children's Personality Questionnaire, wheezing frequency
Svenonius (1983)47▸ 30 min. intervals of intense exercises (HR=170 bpm) and relaxation and 30 min swimming. I.N.S. ▸ 3–4 months, 2/week, 60 min/sessionN=50
Age range=(8–17)▸ Pulmonary: VC, TLC, FRC, FEV1, FEV1%, LCI, WOV, VTG, VTG/TLC%, VTG/VC%, RV ▸ EIB: FEV1 decline and VTG increase ▸ Cardiorespiratory: working capacity
Varray (1991)48▸ 2×3 months swim training, aerobic at Vth swim velocity and HI at max speed ▸ 6 months, 2/week, 60 min/sessionN=14 7/711.4▸ Pulmonary: FVC, FEV1, MEF50, FEF25–75, FEF25–75/FVC ▸ Cardiorespiratory: VO2max, VEmax, Vth, O2pulsemax, HRmax
Varray (1995)49▸ Swimming at Vth swim velocity ▸ 3 months, 2/week, 60 min/sessionN=18
▸ Pulmonary: FVC, FEV1, FEF25–75%, FEF25–75%/FVC ▸ Cardiorespiratory: VO2max, Vth, VEmax
van Veldhoven (2001)2▸ Physical exercise programme and home exercises. I.N.S. ▸ 3 months, 2/week, 60 min/session N=47 23/2410.6 (8–13)▸ Pulmonary: FEV1(%),FVC, PEF, MEF25 and 50 ▸ Cardiorespiratory: Wmax, VO2max, VEmax, RER, AT, O2pulsemax, HR60W, VE/VO2max. EIB: FEV1 decline ▸ Endurance test: Timemax and HR. CBSK, ACBT
Wang (2009)50▸ Swimming. I.N.S. ▸ 6 weeks, 3/week, 50 min/sessionN=30 15/1510 (9–11)▸ Pulmonary: FEV1, FEF50, FEF25–75, FVC ▸ Daily PEF. Severity of asthma
Weisgerber (2003)51▸ Swimming. I.N.S. ▸ 5/6 weeks, 2/week, 45 min/sessionN=8
I=8.4, C=7.3▸ Pulmonary: FEV1, FVC, PEF, FEF25–75% ▸ Asthma symptoms questionnaire
Wicher (2010)52▸ Swimming. I.N.S. ▸ 3 months, 2/week, 60 min/sessionN=61 30/3110.4 (7–18)
  • ▸ Pulmonary: FEV1, FVC, FEF25–75%,

  • ▸ Bronchial responsiveness to methacholine

  • *Age was expressed as mean age (age range) in years, unless otherwise stated.

  • 6MWT, 6 min walk test; ACBT, asthma coping test; AT, anaerobic threshold; BHP, bronchial histamine provocation test; bpm, beats per minute; CBSK, Self-Perception Profile for Children to measure perceived competence; C, control group; EIB, exercise-induced bronchoconstriction; Fo, maximal breaking mass the individual can theoretically handle; FEF25–75, forced expiratory flow between 25% and 75% of vital capacity; FEF50,, forced expiratory flow at 50% of vital capacity; FEV1%, FEV1 in % of VC; FEV1, forced expiratory volume in 1 s; dFEV1, change in FEV1 15 min after the incremental exercise test; FRC, functional residual capacity; FVC, forced vital capacity; sGaw, specific conductance; GSH-Px, glutathione peroxidase; HI, high intensity; HR, heart rate; HR60W, heart rate at workload 60 W; HRmax, maximal HR; HRpeak, peak HR; HRrest, resting HR; I.N.S, intensity not stated; I, intervention group; LCI (WOV/FRC), lung clearance index; LT, lactate threshold; MAP, maximal aerobic power; MDA, malondialdehyde; MEF, maximum expiratory flow; MEF25, maximal expiratory flow after an expiration of 75% of the FVC; MEF50, maximal expiratory flow after an expiration of 50% of the FVC; MEP, maximal expiratory pressure; Min, minute; MIP, maximal inspiratory pressure; MMEF, maximal midexpiratory flowrate; MVV, maximum voluntary ventilation; NO, nitric oxide; O2pulse, oxygen pulse; O2pulsemax, maximum oxygen pulse; O2pulsepeak, peak oxygen pulse; PACQLQ, Paediatric asthma caregiver's quality of life questionnaire; PAQLQ, Paediatric asthma quality of life questionnaire; PEF, peak expiratory flow; PP, peak power; PWC 170 test, physical work capacity at a heart rate of 170 bpm; RCP, respiratory compensation point; RER, respiratory exchange ratio; RERpeak, respiratory exchange ratio at peak work; RQ, respiratory quotient; RV, residual volume; SOD, Superoxide dismutase; Timemax, total running time; TLC, total lung capacity; V0, maximal cycling velocity theoretically obtained if the breaking mass was null; V50, expiratory flow at 50% of vital capacity; VC, vital capacity; VCO2max, maximal CO2 output; VEmax, maximal minute ventilation; VO2, oxygen uptake; VO2max, maximal oxygen uptake; VO2max %pred, predicted maximal ouptake; VO2peak, peak oxygen consumption; VR, ventilatory reserve; VTG, volume of trapped gas; Vth, ventilatory threshold; W, power; Wmax, maximum power; WOV, wash out volume.