Physical activity and aerobic fitness in childhood : associated with asthma?
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The prevalence of childhood asthma in the Western world has increased the last decades, whereas knowledge of asthma prevalence in districts where “Westernized lifestyle” is not adopted is inadequate. Even though there is a general lack of studies including objective physical activity measurements and direct measurements of maximal oxygen consumption, the overriding public perception of today’s children and adolescents is that they are less physical active and with lower levels of aerobic fitness than the youth of previous generations. Recently, reduced physical activity level and low aerobic fitness have been proposed to increase the risk of asthma. However, there is no consensus whether a sedentary lifestyle or decreased physical activity increase asthma risk. Evaluating a childhood population from a rural district, where “Westernized lifestyle” is not adopted, is to make comparison with children representing a traditional rural lifestyle. The aims of the present thesis were: (1) to determine the prevalence of asthma symptoms in children living in a rural district in North-Tanzania, (2) to compare aerobic fitness and habitual physical activity between North- Tanzanian and Norwegian children, (3) examine if level of aerobic fitness and physical activity is related to asthma and, (4) to evaluate objective methods for assessing physical activity.Paper I: Berntsen S, Lødrup Carlsen KC, Hageberg R, Aandstad A, Mowinckel P, Andersen SA, Carlsen KH. Prevalence of asthma symptoms in children from a rural district in North-Tanzania, and its relations to aerobic fitness and body fat. Accepted the 15th of December 2008, for publication in Allergy and published online in March 2009, pending the print journal.Paper II: Aandstad A, Berntsen S, Hageberg R, Klasson-Heggebø L, Anderssen SA. A comparison of estimated maximal oxygen uptake in nine and ten year old schooldhildren in Tanzania and Norway. British Journal of Sports Medicine 2006;40: 287-292.Paper III: Berntsen S, Hageberg R, Aandstad A, Mowinckel P, Anderssen SA, Carlsen KH, Andersen LB. Validity of physical activity monitors in adults participating in free living activitites. Accepted the 1st of July 2008, for publication in British Journal of Sports Medicine and published online the 15th of July 2008, pending the print journal.Paper IV: Berntsen S, Lødrup Carlsen KC, Anderssen SA, Mowinckel P, Hageberg R, Kørner Bueso A, Carlsen KH. Norwegian adolescents with asthma are physical active and fit. Allergy 2009;64: 421-426.
Avhandling (doktorgrad) – Norges idrettshøgskole, 2009.