Journal of Bone and Mineral Metabolism

, Volume 37, Issue 6, pp 1095–1103 | Cite as

Association of objectively measured physical activity and sedentary behavior with bone stiffness in peripubertal children

  • Mitsuya YamakitaEmail author
  • Daisuke Ando
  • Yuka Akiyama
  • Miri Sato
  • Kohta Suzuki
  • Zentaro Yamagata
Original Article



Physical activity (PA) is a key factor of bone mass acquisition in peripubertal children. Sedentary behavior (SB) has been shown to influence bone outcomes. This study aimed to examine the association between objectively measured PA and SB and bone stiffness in Japanese children.

Materials and Methods

Participants were fifth-grade children aged 10–11 years from Project Koshu. The stiffness index (SI) of the calcaneus was measured by quantitative ultrasound; PA and SB were evaluated by an accelerometer. Each PA parameter was divided into sex-specific tertile or stratified by recommended PA guideline [≥ 60 min/day of moderate-to-vigorous PA (MVPA)]. The SI was compared among PA and SB through analysis of covariance with Bonferroni correction.


Of 174 children, complete data were obtained from 134 (60 boys and 74 girls). The SI in boys was higher in the highest tertile of MVPA than that in the other groups. A similar association was found in girls but was not significant. Children who met the PA guideline had higher SI than those who did not, but there was no significant difference. A negative relation was observed in girls, with the SI gradually decreasing along with increasing SB (p for trend = 0.038). This association was not observed among boys.


This study suggests that MVPA is positively associated with bone stiffness in Japanese schoolchildren in boys and SB is negatively associated with that in girls. Reducing SB might be a brief modifiable factor for preventing lower peak bone mass in girls, in addition to increasing MVPA.


Physical activity Sedentary time Quantitative ultrasound Schoolchildren Bone stiffness 



We thank the study participants for the use of their personal data. We also thank the principal, vice principal, and homeroom teachers at the elementary schools. We are extremely grateful to the school nurses of each school for their support. This study was supported by JSPS KAKENHI (Grant numbers 26750335, 17K01794, 15K08801, 24590788, 23390173, 18H03037, 18K10064, and 18K17375) and Kitasato University Research Grant for Young Researchers.

Author contributions

Study design: MY, DA, MS, and ZY. Study conduct and data collection: MY, DA, YA, MS, and KS. Data analysis: MY and AY. Data interpretation and drafting manuscript: all authors. MY and AY take responsibility for the integrity of the data analysis. All authors read, revised, and approved the final manuscript.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

All authors have no conflicts of interest.

Supplementary material

774_2019_1021_MOESM1_ESM.docx (15 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 15 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Japan KK, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.College of Liberal Arts and SciencesKitasato UniversitySagamiharaJapan
  2. 2.Division of Human Sciences, Faculty of Education, Graduate School Department of Interdisciplinary ResearchUniversity of YamanashiKofuJapan
  3. 3.Division of Medicine, Department of Health Sciences, Basic Science for Clinical Medicine, Graduate School Department of Interdisciplinary ResearchUniversity of YamanashiChuoJapan
  4. 4.Center for Birth Cohort Studies, Graduate School Department of Interdisciplinary ResearchUniversity of YamanashiChuoJapan
  5. 5.Department of Health and Psychosocial MedicineAichi Medical University School of MedicineNagakuteJapan

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