Simon Timpka, a medical researcher at Lund University in Sweden, tracked around 2,000 Swedish elementary school students for 30 years, using unique Nordic population and health care registers. He measured health impairment using sick leave, in-patient care and visits to a primary health care physician as parameters. He also found an association with increased risk of muscular and skeletal disorders for women with a low P.E. grade.
While a low grade was associated with later health impairment in women, the study did not examine or determine cause or effect, meaning there may be other factors yet to be uncovered that would clarify why the two are linked. Although the association was not explained by difference in attained education or occupation, factors such as smoking, obesity or inadequate levels of physical activity could potentially explain the observations.
“Girls with a low P.E. performance may be an important group to target with public health interventions of some sort”, Simon Timpka concludes.
Muscle strength and physical education: epidemiological studies of factors in adolescence and their association with later morbidity
Simon Timpka, MD, PhD
+46 (0) 73 83 95 276