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Original Research ARTICLE Provisionally accepted The full-text will be published soon. Notify me

Front. Endocrinol. | doi: 10.3389/fendo.2019.00463

Effects of different types of exercise training on the cortisol awakening response in children

  • 1Humboldt University of Berlin, Germany
  • 2Medical School Hamburg, Germany
  • 3Leipzig University, Germany
  • 4Reykjavík University, Iceland
  • 5Lithuanian Sports University, Lithuania

Context: Due to great variability of stress-related systems, research has to produce more detailed findings to make a more meaningful statement regarding the effect of exercise training (ET) on the cortisol awakening response (CAR), especially in children.
Objective: The aim of the study was to investigate the effects of different ET interventions on the CAR in children.
Design and Setting: We conducted a longitudinal study for ten weeks in primary schools in Westphalia, Germany.
Participants: 71 children (9-10 years old) were randomly assigned to a cardiovascular exercise group (n = 27), a motor exercise group (n = 23), or a control group (n = 21).
Intervention: An experienced instructor trained the children in an after-school setting in 45 min sessions, three times a week over the course of ten weeks.
Main Outcome measure: CAR was assessed on two consecutive schooldays before and after the intervention. A Shuttle Run Test was performed to determine the cardiovascular fitness. Motor fitness was assessed using the Heidelberg Gross Motor Test.
Results: Children who enhanced their cardiovascular fitness over the course of the intervention showed an increased CAR after the intervention time (B = 0.213), whereas children who underwent a motor exercise intervention and at the same time gained in motor fitness exhibited a decreased CAR after intervention (B = -0.188).
Conclusions: It has been speculated that other pathways are activated by different exercise interventions. The extent to which these ET effects on CAR can be applied in clinical settings needs further investigation.

Keywords: Cortisol (C), Exercise, training, Physical stress, Children, Adolescent, Motor exercise, Cardiovascular exercise

Received: 21 Jan 2019; Accepted: 25 Jun 2019.

Edited by:

Denis Richard, Laval University, Canada

Reviewed by:

Gábor B. Makara, Hungarian Academy of Sciences (MTA), Hungary
David H. St-Pierre, Université du Québec à Montréal, Canada
Laurie Wideman, University of North Carolina at Greensboro, United States  

Copyright: © 2019 Wegner, Koutsandréou, Müller-Alcazar, Lautenbach and Budde. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence: Prof. Henning Budde, Medical School Hamburg, Hamburg, Hamburg, Germany,