Lifestyle change towards more physical activity through the introduction of an individualized exercise program for young rheumatism patients – AktiMiRh

Funded by the "Dr. Melitta Berkemann foundation"

Cooperation project with the German Center for Pediatric and Adolescent Rheumatology, Garmisch-Partenkirchen

Children and adolescents with rheumatism often exercise less than recommended by the World Health Organisation (WHO). Together with disease-related limitations, this can lead to deficits in the physical skills of endurance and strength. To reduce these deficits or even prevent their emergence, sports scientists have developed an individualized exercise program for young rheumatism patients as a cooperation project of the Technical University of Munich and the German Center for Pediatric and Adolescent Rheumatology. The access to sports and physical activity for young rheumatism patients is aimed to be facilitated by an individualized exercise program containing concrete suggestions for exercises. The main goal of the study is to increase physical activity of young rheumatism patients with the help of a physical activity program. In addition, the use of this exercise program is expected to have a positive impact on sports-related motor skills, quality of life and joint load during the landing phase of a vertical jump. Exercises from the areas of endurance, strength, speed, mobility and coordination, suitable for children and adolescents, are part of the program. The content will be individually adapted to the patient’s state of disease and is designed to be performed at home three times a week between two hospital stays.

Prof. Dr. Ansgar Schwirtz | Dr. Josephine Gizik | Nadja Baumeister


Biomechanical diagnostics in children and adolescents with juvenile idiopathic arthritis for individual physical activity promotion (BEWARE project)

Juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA) is often associated with impairments in everyday functionality and accompanying physical inactivity. The goal of this study is to early advise children and adolescents with JIA to a safe physical activity in order to prevent impairments and malfunctions. The advice is based on the clinical disease status, patients’ anthropometrics, patients’ self-assessment and on functional analyses, which includes a biomechanical examination with a 3D-motion analysis and a motor function test. Only newly diagnosed JIA patients of the German Center for Pediatric and Adolescent Rheumatology (Garmisch-Partenkirchen) will be included and measured for a minimum of three times in this study.

After a successful study ending, pediatric rheumatologists and pediatricians will get an advisory tool, which allows an adequate physical activity promotion of their patient.

The project is funded by the „Innovationsausschuss des Gemeinsamen Bundesausschuss“.

Project partners:

More information about the project

Prof. Dr. Ansgar Schwirtz | Dr. Josephine Gizik


Biomechanical analysis of daily activity of young patients to assess sports capability

The goal of this study is to evaluate children and adolescents of the Inception Cohort of Newly Diagnosed Patients (ICON) with juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA) concerning their everyday functionality and their motor skills. The patients` function will be examined with a 3D-motion analysis system and with a motor function test during two hospital stays in the German Center for Pediatric and Adolescent Rheumatology, Garmisch-Partenkirchen. At the end of their hospitalizations they receive individual recommendations on physical activity based on the “Rheuma und Sport Kompass”.

This is a cooperation project between the German Center for Pediatric and Adolescent Rheumatology (Garmisch-Partenkirchen) and the Associate Professorship of Biomechanics in Sports (TUM).

The project is funded by the „Dr. Melitta Berkemann Stiftung“.

Prof. Dr. Ansgar Schwirtz | Dr. Josephine Gizik | Nadja Baumeister

Active force production of skeletal muscles is dependent on muscle length and the instantaneous rate and direction of length change. However, the basic theories on muscle contraction do not account for the fact that muscular force production is dependent upon the muscle’s contractile history, such that when one type of contraction (e. g. isometric) is preceded by another type (e. g. eccentric/ lengthening contraction) distinctly different forces can be achieved.

Keywords: residual force enhancement, stretch-shortening cycle, eccentric muscle action

Denis Holzer, Florian Paternoster

DFG-Project: Contractile, elastic, and neural mechanisms of muscular performance enhancement during stretch-shortening cycles.

Cooperation: Prof. Dr. Daniel Hahn (Ruhr-Universität Bochum); Prof. Dr. Tobias Siebert (Universität Stuttgart); Prof. Dr. Wolgang Seiberl (Universität der Bundeswehr München)

Plantar pressure distribution plays an important role not only in elite sports but also in every day activities. However, most devices are not designed for long-term data acquisition – neither in terms of comfort nor practicability. Therefore, a sock, which is able to measure pressure at several areas of the foot, shall be invented to ensure data acquisition in everyday life. The project is carried out with two industrial partners and funded by the German Ministry of Economy.

Cotact: Dominic Rasp | Prof. Ansgar Schwirtz

A sedentary lifestyle, leading to orthopedic issues, is not only a problem in adults but has been observed in children as well. On top of that, many children show deficits in handwriting skills. As sitting behavior and handwriting skills correlate, a 3-week intervention, aiming at healthy sitting and handwriting behavior, will be conducted in approximately 200 first-graders. In a control group design, the long-term effects of this intervention is going to be observed.

The project is funded by the Bavarian Ministry of Health, the foundation of the Sparkasse Rosenheim, the Bürgerstifung Rosenheim, and the Verband deutscher Osteopathen.


Project leaders: Prof. Ansgar Schwirtz | Kathrin Schmalzl