How children and teens perform in physical education class (PE) class predicts their risk of future musculoskeletal conditions, especially chronic pain, say scientists in Sweden.
In Sweden, children attend compulsory school from ages 7 to 16. As part of the study, researchers looked at the PE grades of students who graduated from a compulsory school during 1974 to 1976.
In 2003 to 2007, the researchers looked at the former students healthcare records. After adjusting for education and occupation, the investigators found that, in girls, poor PE grades predicted a musculoskeletal diagnosis three decades later. Most of these conditions involved chronic pain and soft tissue disorders. On the other hand, boys with good PE grades were less likely to endure future soft tissue disorders.
“This study indicates that adolescent girls with a low PE grade could be an important group to target with early interventions to reduce future musculoskeletal illness,” conclude the study’s authors.
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