Exercise can help reduce the risk of osteoporosis and related fractures, a new report explains. "One of the best ways to build and maintain healthy bones is through exercise," noted Professor Helmut Minne, IOF Board member and author of “Move it or Lose it”: How exercise helps to build and maintain strong bones, prevent falls and fractures and speed rehabilitation.
"We hope that our positive message will encourage women and men to realise that they can take responsibility for their bone health and not be victims of osteoporosis later in life," noted IOF Chief Executive Officer Daniel Navid.
Some highlights of the Move it or Lose it report, which will be distributed by IOF's member osteoporosis societies in some 80 countries:
Because bone is living tissue, which renews itself continuously, it requires regular stimulation from physical activity. Like muscles, bones should be used regularly or they will deteriorate.
In girls, the bone tissue accumulated during the ages of 11-13 approximately equals the amount lost during the 30 years following menopause.
One study in Finland shows that the most physically active young girls gain about 40% more bone mass than the least active girls of the same age. Similar, but less dramatic, results were recorded for boys in a United States survey.
Exercising your back during middle-age can help prevent your vertebrae from weakening or fracturing when you get older.
Exercise also helps balance and prevents falls – this is important because every year, some two out of five people over 65 will fall at least once. Falls are a leading cause of fracture.
Women who sit for more than nine hours a day are more likely to have a hip fracture.
Following fracture, exercise can help to prevent further fractures, relieve pain and help maintain quality of life.
Weight bearing and high impact exercise (dancing, walking, jogging, sports, strength training) is required to stimulate bone formation.