The Impact of Moderate Physical Activity on the Resting Metabolic Rate (RMR) in Children with Asthma

Ivona Višekruna, Adrijana Miletić Gospić, Davor Plavec, Marcel Lipej, Boro Nogalo, Damir Erceg, Mirjana Turkalj


Objective The objective was to assess whether a two week program of a moderate physical activity affects the resting metabolic rate (RMR) in a group of children with well-controlled asthma.

Materials and methods - The study included 26 children (14 boys and 12 girls) aged 7-15 years, with well controlled asthma, who participated in Asthma Camp for a period of two weeks, where they had moderate physical activity on a daily basis. Body mass, height and RMR of the participants were measured on the first and last day of the Camp. The RMR assessment was based on a gas exchange measurement.

Results – A statistically significant difference (P<0.05) between the two measurements was found for oxygen uptake (VO2), expired oxygen content (FeO2), RMR and % predicted Harris-Benedict, while there was no statistically significant difference for the respiratory minute ventilation, respiratory frequency and heart rate. Average RMR increased from 1244 kcal · day-1 to 1535 kcal · day-1 .

Conclusion – Although most of the participants with asthma are in normal body weight range, there is still a significant proportion of overweight/obese participants. Average RMR of children with asthma was lower than expected by the HarrisBenedict equation. Two weeks of structured controlled moderate physical activity led to a significant increase in average RMR in both genders of children with asthma, reaching values higher than the Harris-Benedict estimation. Thereby, regular moderate physical activity should be an essential part of asthma treatment, especially in obese patients, since obesity is one of the most common co-morbidities in asthma.


Asthma; Children; Resting metabolic rate; Physical activity; Obesity

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