Background Anaerobic exercise capacity was reported to be lower in children with juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA) than healthy children. However, to our knowledge, there is no study focusing on improving anaerobic exercise capacity in JIA.
Objectives To investigate the effect of an 8-week water exercise program, which was performed at the weekends, on anaerobic exercise capacity in children with JIA.
Methods Forty-two children with JIA were divided into two groups as exercise and control. Prior to the study, anaerobic exercise capacity was measured performing a 30-second Wingate test. Deep water running was employed as the progressive water exercise program for the exercise group. Control group did not receive any additional treatment other than their usual care. Weekends were chosen for the exercise sessions considering the educational program of the children. Exercise intensity was set as moderate. Exercise intensity was determined with a wearable heart rate tracking system during the exercises. All children were reassessed regarding to anaerobic exercise capacity two months after the first assessment.
Results All children completed the study without any adverse effects. Twenty-one children were in the exercise group, others were assessed as controls. No significant differences were determined between groups prior the study regarding to age, disease duration, height, weight, body-mass index, and anaerobic exercise capacity related parameters (p<0.05). While all anaerobic exercise capacity parameters improved in the exercise group, no improvement were seen in the control group. The in-group comparisons were shown at Table 1. The comparison of the changes between groups after 8 weeks were demonstrated at Table 2.
Conclusions The present study is the first study focusing on improving anaerobic capacity in children with JIA. According to our results, an 8-week water exercise program which is performed at the weekends might be beneficial to improve anaerobic exercise capacity in children with JIA.
Disclosure of Interest None declared