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Year, Volume, Issue, Page(s):

, 160, 3, 781-788

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Study compared long-term functional outcome between severely burned children who either participated or did not participate in a 12-week exercise program. A total of 125 severely burned children (mean age 12 years) who received no long-term anabolic drugs chose between a voluntary exercise program (EX-group) and no exercise (NoEX-group) after discharge from the acute burn unit. Demographics between the EX-group (82 children) and NoEX-group (43 children) were comparable. Peak torque per lean leg mass (PTLLM), peak torque per body weight (PTBW), maximal oxygen consumption (VO2max), and peak heart rate (PHR) were assessed. In addition, body mass index (BMI) percentile and lean body mass index (LBMI) were recorded. Both groups were compared for up to 2 years postburn using mixed multiple analysis of variance. The results showed that muscle strength (PTBW) and cardiopulmonary fitness (VO2max and PHR) increased significantly due to hospital-based exercise. In the EX-group, PTLLM also increased significantly with exercise. Between discharge and 12-24 months, BMI percentile increased significantly in the EX-Group but did not change in the NoEX-group. There were no significant differences between groups in BMI percentile, LBMI, PTLLM, and VO2max at 24 months postburn. The findings suggest that exercise significantly improves the physical performance of severely burned children. The benefits are limited to early time points, however, and greatly narrow with further recovery time. Continued participation in exercise activities or a maintenance exercise program is recommended for exercise-induced adaptations to continue.


Wurzer, Paul, Voight, Charles D., Clayton, Robert P., Andersen, Clark R., Mlcak, Ronald P., Kamolz, Lars-P., Herndon, David N., Suman, Oscar E.