Purpose: We evaluated the effect of exercise on stiffness and fat-free mass (FFM), which consists of bone and muscle, in Japanese students. It is uncertain whether exercise or sports activities will help to accumulate overall peak bone mass in Japanese adolescents. Methods: A total of 710 Japanese students (age = 15-20 yr) were enrolled. Students who regularly engage in physical exercise were assigned to an exercise group; other students were assigned to a nonexercise group. Body composition, including height, weight, waist circumference, hip circumference, body mass index, and waist-to-hip ratio, were measured and calculated. Lung volume, body volume, and body fat percentage were evaluated by air displacement plethysmography. Fat mass and FFM were derived from body fat percentage and body weight. Bone status, such as speed of sounds, broadband ultrasound attenuation, and stiffness, which is defined as bone density, was assessed by quantitative ultrasound. Results: In both sexes, height, weight, body mass index, circumferences, waist-to-hip ratio, lung volume, and body volume between the exercise and nonexercise groups did not show any significant differences. FFM, speed of sounds, broadband ultrasound attenuation, and stiffness in the exercise group were statistically higher than those in the nonexercise group (P < 0.05). Although stiffness positively correlated with age with the exception of the nonexercise group in females (P < 0.01), stiffness correlated with FFM in the exercise and nonexercise groups in both sexes (P < 0.01). Conclusions: Ours is the first analysis of a trend in peak bone mass, including the effect of exercise in Japanese students. For Japanese pubertal females who did not have a history of regular exercise, stiffness slowly decreased with age. Exercise habits in early childhood are important in the relationship between stiffness and FFM.
!!!All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes