Can a minute of exercise a day prevent osteoporosis?

04 Aug 2017

Doing just 60 seconds of exercise per day could lower our risk of developing osteoporosis, according to the latest reports to hit the headlines.

The claims came after a new study from scientists at the Universities of Exeter and Leicester, which found that women who did one to two minutes of high-intensity activity per day had 4% better bone health than those who did less than a minute.

The bone health of those who did more than two minutes of high-intensity activity per day was found to be a further 2% above baseline.

2,500 women wore an activity monitor for a week for the study, with their activity levels compared to their bone health – determined from an ultrasound scan of the heel bone. High-intensity exercise was defined as medium-paced running for premenopausal women, or a slow jog for postmenopausal.

Lead author of the study, Dr Victoria Stiles, University of Exeter, said: “We can’t be sure whether the high-intensity physical activity led to better bone health, or whether those with better bone health do more of this exercise. However, it seems likely that just one to two minutes of running a day is good for bone health”.

Sarah Leyland, Osteoporosis Nurse Consultant at the National Osteoporosis Society, said:

“We know that regular weight-bearing and muscle resistance type exercise is good for bones, so any new research looking at how exercising can potentially help people keep their bones strong and avoid fractures is a step in the right direction

The National Osteoporosis Society is currently working to develop a Consensus Statement and guidance for health professionals to answer some of important questions about safe and effective exercise for osteoporosis. We are also planning to develop a range of new information resources about the best exercises and physical activity to safely strengthen bones.

This study comes about as the Charity is running its latest awareness campaign, A Message to My Younger Self, which aims to educate the younger generations on the important role exercise can play in building strong and healthy bones for life. Find out how you can help the Charity start the conversation about exercise and bone health.

You can also find out more about exercise for strong bones.

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