Exercise can help reduce the risk of osteoporosis and related fractures, a new report explains.
"One of the best ways to build and maintain healthy bones is through exercise," noted Professor Helmut Minne, IOF Board member and author of Move it or Lose it: How exercise helps to build and maintain strong bones, prevent falls and fractures and speed rehabilitation.
The report was issued at a press event in Berlin, Germany by International Osteoporosis Foundation-IOF to mark World Osteoporosis Day -- WOD 2005. The launch took place during a press event organized by the Nationale Initiative gegen Osteoporose, a consortium of leading organizations and people fighting osteoporosis in the country.
"This year's World Osteoporosis Day theme is the role of exercise, the first of a three-year 'lifestyle' campaign," noted IOF Chief Executive Officer Daniel Navid. "We hope that our positive message will encourage women and men to realize that they can take responsibility for their bone health and not be victims of osteoporosis later in life,"
Osteoporosis, in which the bones become fragile and break easily, is one of the world's most devastating and common chronic diseases. It strikes one in three women over 50 worldwide (more than breast cancer) and one in five men (more than prostate cancer).
Some highlights of the Move it or Lose it report, which will be distributed by IOF's member osteoporosis societies in some 80 countries:
- Because bone is living tissue, which renews itself continuously, it requires regular stimulation from physical activity. Like muscles, bones should be used regularly or they will deteriorate.
- In girls, the bone tissue accumulated during the ages of 11-13 approximately equals the amount lost during the 30 years following menopause.
- One study in Finland shows that the most physically active young girls gain about 40% more bone mass than the least active girls of the same age. Similar, but less dramatic, results were recorded for boys in a United States survey.
- Exercising your back during middle-age can help prevent your vertebrae from weakening or fracturing when you get older.
- Exercise also helps balance and prevents falls -- this is important bcause every year, some two out of five people over 65 will fall at least once. Falls are a leading cause of fracture.
- Women who sit for more than nine hours a day are more likely to have a hip fracture.
- Following fracture, exercise can help to prevent further fractures, relieve pain and help maintain quality of life.
- Weight bearing and high impact exercise (dancing, walking, jogging, sports, strength training) is required to stimulate bone formation.
Osteoporosis, in which the bones become porous and break easily, is one of the world's most common and debilitating diseases. The result: pain, loss of movement, inability to perform daily chores, and in many cases, death. One out of three women over 50 will experience osteoporotic fractures, as will one out of five men 1, 2, 3. Unfortunately, screening for people at risk is far from being a standard practice. Osteoporosis can, to a certain extent, be prevented, it can be easily diagnosed and effective treatments are available.
The International Osteoporosis Foundation (IOF) is the only worldwide organization dedicated to the fight against osteoporosis. It brings together scientists, physicians, patient societies and corporate partners. Working with its 170 member societies in 84 locations, and other healthcare-related organizations around the world, IOF encourages awareness and prevention, early detection and improved treatment of osteoporosis.
For more information on osteoporosis and IOF, and to view the materials described above please visit: www.osteofound.org
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