Lack of physical stimulation may contribute to metabolic bone disease of preterm infants, resulting in poor bone mineralization and growth. Physical activity programs combined with adequate nutrition might help to promote bone mineralization and growth.
Some evidence suggests that physical activity programs might promote short-term weight gain and bone mineralization in preterm infants. Data are inadequate to allow assessment of harm or long-term effects. Current evidence does not support the routine use of physical activity programs in preterm infants. Further trials incorporating infants with a high baseline of osteopenia are required. These trials should address adverse events, long-term outcomes, and the effects of nutritional intake (calories, protein, calcium, phosphorus).