Exercise and bone mass

Bailey and Brook-Wavell have written an interesting review on exercise and bone mineral density in the Proceedings of the Nutrition Society.
Physical activity is a major physiological method for increasing and maintaining bone mineral density and geometry. With an important role in maintaining peak bone mass and strength, and reducing the risk of future osteoporotic fracture. However, not all exercise is effective, so a prescription in terms of optimal type, intensity, frequency and duration is required.
Studies using animal models suggest that loading that is high in magnitude, rapidly applied and novel is most effective, whilst duration is less important beyond a threshold number of cycles.
In human subjects cross-sectional studies comparing different athletic populations suggest that those who participate in high- or odd-impact sports have higher bone mineral density; whilst impact exercise, strength training and brief high-impact-jump training interventions increase bone mineral density in pre-menopausal women.. Brief hopping exercises were shown to be feasible for sedentary pre-menopausal women, producing ground-reaction forces as high as those from jumping. Regularly performing these hopping exercises over 6 months was found to increase femoral-neck bone mineral density of the trained leg relative to the control leg. women.
Bailey and Brook-Wavell 2008 Exercise for optimising peak bone mass in women Proceedings of the Nutrition Society vol 67, pp9-18

Martin Eastwood
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