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Revista Brasileira de Medicina do Esporte

Print version ISSN 1517-8692On-line version ISSN 1806-9940


SILVA, Carla Cristiane da; GOLDBERG, Tamara Beres Lederer; TEIXEIRA, Altamir dos Santos  and  MARQUES, Inara. Does physical exercise increase or compromise children's and adolescent's linear growth? Is it a myth or truth?. Rev Bras Med Esporte [online]. 2004, vol.10, n.6, pp.520-524. ISSN 1517-8692.

Modern society has given a lot of value to being slim and tall. This physical structure has been reinforced since childhood and has been affecting the adolescents desire to fit in this stereotype, especially the ones shown in the media. Because of this, health professionals are frequently questioned about the positive effects that physical exercises perform on children and adolescent's linear growth. Through the specialized literature, this article intended to illustrate the main effects that physical exercise would perform on the secretion of growth hormone (GH) in the several body tissues during childhood and adolescence. Through this reviewing, it was possible to verify that physical exercises induce the stimulation of the GH/IGF-1 axis. Although much is speculated with regard to physical exercise and bone growth, no well-developed studies were found in the specific scientific literature to corroborate this statement. The adverse physical practicing effects during childhood and adolescence, apparently, were independent of the type of the exercise practice, but else a result of the intensity. The high training intensity seems to cause an important metabolic modulation with raise of the inflammatory markers and the suppression of the GH/IGF-1 axis. However, it is important to emphasize that the sportive modality itself selects children and/or adolescents with lower stature as strategy for the attainment of better results in function of the mechanical facility of movements. Through this research, the performance of linear studies is evident, where individuals are followed before, during, and after exercise, with the determination of the training volume and intensity in order to reach definitive conclusions with regard to the effects on the final stature.

Keywords : Physical growth; Physical exercise; Children; Adolescents.

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