Mild Aerobic Exercise No Protection from Osteoporosis. (Research Notebook)

FDA Consumer, January-February 2003 | Go to article overview

Mild Aerobic Exercise No Protection from Osteoporosis. (Research Notebook)


While day-to-day physical activities such as walking, housework and shopping may be good for your heart, they don't do much for your bones, researchers at Johns Hopkins University. in Baltimore say.

Their study, published in the November 2002 issue of the Journal of Internal Medicine, found that neither light-intensity activities nor aerobic fitness level contributed to bone health, contrasting previous studies suggesting that aerobics could play a role. Having a few extra pounds, however, was a help. Among a group of older adults studied, those with greater muscle strength and higher body fat, especially in the abdomen, had higher bone mineral densities.

"Carrying extra body weight increases the forces on bone, strengthening it, though the largest forces come from more vigorous exercise rather than routine low-intensity physical activity," says lead author Kerry J. Stewart, Ed. D., director of clinical exercise physiology at Johns Hopkins. "In our study of typical older people, who unfortunately do not participate in regular vigorous exercise, daily activities and low-intensity exercise like walking appeared to be relatively ineffective for preventing aging-related bone loss."

The researchers do not advocate gaining weight to fight osteoporosis. …

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