Twenty studies were included in the review (n=336), five of which were RCTs. Study sizes ranged from three to 46 participants. The PEDro score ranged between 0 and 8 (median 3).
Lower-extremity strength training (11 studies)
Two RCTs noted small improvements in performance on tests of muscle strength. One RCT noted a significant change in perception of body image and a more upright posture. Another RCT found no significant differences. Significant improvements in tests of muscle strength were observed in five studies following strength training programmes of six to eight weeks duration. Three studies commented that the gained benefits on muscle strength, gross motor function, scholastic competence and social acceptance, and muscle tone were maintained.
Aerobic training (five studies)
Three studies reported statistically significant improvements of aerobic capacity and two studies (one RCT) found that a significant reduction in aerobic capacity was associated with inactivity during the summer vacation.
Mixed training (four studies)
A significant increase in muscle strength was noted in two studies. A significant increase in vital capacity was found in one study and a significant increase for self-perception of physical appearance observed in another. One study reported a significant increase in stride length. Another found a significant change in walking speed. One study reported that significant changes in muscle strength were maintained 10 weeks following program completion.