Exercise, Osteoporosis, and Bone Geometry

Exercise is commonly recommended in the prevention and management of osteoporosis

Amy Harding


Scholarcy highlights

  • Osteoporosis is a progressive metabolic bone condition characterised by profound loss of skeletal mass, coupled with architectural deterioration, that increases bone fragility and susceptibility to fractures
  • Systematic reviews and meta-analyses have examined the effects of various exercise interventions on femoral neck, trochanter, total hip, and/or lumbar spine areal bone mineral density in middle aged and older men, and postmenopausal women
  • Substantial cross-sectional observations suggest that physical activity influences bone mass and strength at all ages of skeletal development
  • Those data would suggest that regular physical activity likely promotes bone mass accrual and optimisation of bone geometry during childhood, consolidates or aids in the maintenance of bone during adulthood, and maintains or attenuates the loss of bone mass and strength during old age, thereby theoretically reducing the risk of osteoporotic fracture at the end of life
  • Randomised controlled intervention trials confirm that bone-targeted exercise programs can positively influence areal bone mineral density and bone mineral content of loaded bones
  • While changes in lumbar spine and femoral neck BMC in premenarcheal girls were significantly higher for the intervention group than control,, tibial mid-shaft cortical cross-sectional area was not significantly affected
  • As few high quality randomised controlled trials have examined the response of bone geometry to such exercise programs, questions remain in that area
  • Our interpretation of the literature aligns with the recent scientific statement from the National Osteoporosis Foundation that while there is currently strong

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