New study pinpoints key component for maintaining good bone health

Symptoms of debilitating bone disease osteoporosis explained

While you might not think about them unless they ache, bones are living tissues that are constantly changing.

Unfortunately, the tissues become more brittle and prone to breakage as you age.

This puts you at risk of developing osteoporosis, a condition that occurs when the creation of new bone doesn’t keep up with the loss of old bone.

Osteoporosis targets almost 20 percent of women and five percent of men aged 50 and over, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The good news is that a new study, published in the journal Nature Scientific Reports, found that regular exercise could help with bone health.

READ MORE Dance is a fantastic way for us all to fight osteoporosis

Analysing data from 9,787 Americans between the ages of 20 to 59 years who took part in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey from 2011 to 2018, the research team looked at different factors.

They considered the likes of bone mineral density, body fat percentage, bouts of sedentary and physical activity.

The researchers found that people who had more sedentary lifestyles were less likely to have a good bone density in their lower back and more likely to have a higher body fat percentage.

However, those who were more active were more likely to score better in these areas.

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The scientists penned: “Our results show that physical activity is a key component of maintaining bone health in both men and women and is strongly associated with lower body fat percentages.

“Healthcare policy makers should consider reducing sedentary activity and increasing physical activity when preventing osteoporosis and obesity.”

Worryingly, the researchers also warned that obesity is a driving factor behind increased mortality and a higher risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes and cancer.

While the researchers didn’t focus on why exercise may help with bone density, there are some theories as to why it might be so useful.

When you move, your bones get stimulated to remodel with extra deposits of calcium and bone-forming cells, resulting in stronger and denser bones.

Furthermore, your body reabsorbs old bone and creates new bone during your life.

As long as your body has a good balance of old and new, your bones stay healthy and strong, the U.S. National Library of Medicine shares.

According to the NHS, weight-bearing exercise and resistance exercise – think running, skipping, or dancing – are key for improving bone density and helping to prevent osteoporosis.

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