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Leader of this group:

PhD MD Hege Havstad Clemm


About this group

Physical activity is important for good health and to minimise the risk of an ever increasing number of diseases.

We have several projects in this group, studying different aspects of physical activity and strength in children, adolescents and young adults. In both health and disease.

Haukeland University Hospital and Bergen University are cooperating with Bergen University College, Norwegian School of Sports Science and Olympiatoppen in several of these projects.

Research projects


PEP - Follow up on those born extremely premature

The subgroup Prematurity of Physical activity is carrying out a study called Project Extreme Prematurity

The purpose is to study short- and long-term health and well-being in children born extremely prematurely. 

On a Run

Physical therapy and training at the Energy Center for Children and Youth

The goal of this project is to facilitate physical training for several groups of chronically ill children, including:

Boys with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy

Premature borns with Bronchopulmonary dysplasia

Children with congenital or acquired lung diseases

Soccer Game

Football players in development

The goal is to study the following relationships: 

Biological maturity level - training tolerance - injury risk

​Biological maturity level - physical and mental skill development

Hand in the Sand

Day variations in grip strength and lung function

The study aims to find out whether or not these variations exists and if so, if they have a significance in the clinical everyday.


30 men and 30 women, in the age between 20 and 30 years.

PEP - Follow up on those born extremely premature

Long-term consequences 

During the last 3 to 4 decades long-term survival of those born extremely preterm has increased considerably. When born extremely preterm (EPB), all organ systems are immature and vulnerable. Most of these infants require advanced intensive care treatment. Paradoxically, treatment measures required to save their lives in the short-term may also be potentially harmful in the long-term. The full consequences of this remain unknown. Repeated studies over decades are needed to address these continuously evolving changes.

In Bergen, we have studied long-term outcomes in several consecutive population-based cohorts of extremely preterm born (EPB) subjects and matched term-born (TB) controls.

Our previous studies showed that those born extremely preterm have lower oxygen consumption than those born at term, and that this may be partly explained by lower physical activity. Physical activity is important for good health and reducing risk of diseases. Because those born premature also have a higher risk of cardiovascular disease, it is of importance to study this aspect.

New follow-up

The regional ethical committee for medical research has approved new examinations of the regional groups born extremely preterm or at extremely low birthweight, alongside termborn control subjects born in 1982-85, 1991-92 and 1999-2000. A new treadmill test will give us valuable information on health condition in general, and tell us if those born premature follow the same decline in physical capacity as those born at term when aging. We depend on a high participation rate to gain valid statistical results, and sincerely hope that our participants will take time to answer both questionnaires and to perform clinical examinations!

Doctorates or Ph.D dissertations emerging from the respiratory group

Hege Havstad Clemm. Exercise Capacity after extremely preterm birth. Development from childhood to adulthood. University of Bergen 2015

​Ola Drange Røksund. Larynx in exercising humans. The unexplored bottleneck of the airways. University of Bergen 2012.


Mette Engan, Physical Capacity in young adults born extremely preterm - ongoing

Physical therapy and training at the Energy Center for Children and Youth

About the project

The main goal of the project is to facilitate physical exercise for different groups of chronically ill children, and to evaluate the benefits against achievement, quality of life, daily level of functioning and effects on organs of which we first consider lung health.


In this project we wish to take advantage of the opportunities at EBU to give the physiotherapists at section BUK / KK / PBU experience and competence within physical exercise for chronically ill children. The measures that are implemented will be knowledge-based, have utility value and can be used in the patient's everyday life. User participation is planned and strongly taken into account.


During the project period, offers will be given to three target groups that are already followed up at the Children and Adolescents' Clinic, but where we have not previously had adapted training and rehabilitation offers. The three groups are:

Boys with Duchenne muscular dystrophy

Premature babies with bronchopulmonary dysplasia

Children with congenital or acquired lung diseases

The projects will provide valuable project experience to the physiotherapy group, for further development of the Energy Center for Children and Adolescents. It is intended that one must complete two MSc degrees for the project coworkers and a PhD degree for the project manager.


During the first year, external funding will be sought to ensure further research-based activity for the projects. Knowledge acquired from the project will be strived to be implemented into daily routines to establish permanent treatment and training offers for the target groups of chronically ill children at the EBU.

Research associates

1      Department of Physiotherapy, Orthopedic Clinic

Stian Hammer: MSc – specialist in heart og lung physiotherapy, PhD student (Project leader)

Tiina Andersen: Post Doc, PhD, MSc - specialist in heart and lung physiotherapy

Anett Myhre Skjoldmo, special physiotherapist   

Jorun Hestad Riise, specialist in children- and youth physiotherapy     

Other staff

2      The children and youth clinic

Maria Vollsæter, Post Doc, MD, PhD, senior consultant  childhood diseases

Other staff

3      National competence service for home respirator treatment

Tiina Andersen, Post Doc, PhD, MSc - specialist in heart and lung physiotherapy

Maria Vollsæter, Post Doc, MD, PhD, senior consultant  childhood diseases

Other staff

Day variations in grip strength and lung function

About the study

The purpose is to study whether there is daily variation present in gripping force and spirometry, and whether it is significant for the clinical everyday life.


30 girls and 30 boys aged 20-30 years, mainly medical students, will be included in the study. Participation involves examination of gripping force, as well as lung function examination with a spirometer. In addition, participants must answer a questionnaire.


The project is an educational project in connection with a special subject at the Medicine Professional Study.

Research associates

Hege Clemm, project manager

Football players in development

About the study

The purpose of the study is to study the relationship between biological maturation level (bm), training tolerance and injury risk, and between bm and physical and mental skill development. The study will include 50 boys players (14 years in 2018) who have been selected for betting teams and 50 players for broad teams for 10 years.

Bm is measured by X-ray of the hand twice a year until the length growth ceases. Physical capacity (speed, endurance, lung function, resilience, strength) is tested at the same time as the X-ray examination. Once a year, the players must answer a questionnaire in which factors that can affect the players' motivation, self-perception and goal perspective are examined. Injuries are registered by health professionals, and training load via mobile app and GPS sensors.


The players will be followed for 10 years. 


The project is carried out as part of the activities at the sports section (Høgskulen på Vestlandet, Campus Kronstad).

Research associates

Hilde Gundersen, project leader

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