Exercise for Bone Density

Exercise for Bone Density is important to keep our bones healthy and strong throughout our life. As we age bone density decreases, due to a combination of age-related changes, inactivity, and inadequate nutrition. Bone mass decreases at approximately 1% per year after the age of 40, which may lead to osteoporosis. As bones become more fragile, they become more likely to break after a minor fall, which is particularly concerning for the elderly population. Nearly 1 in 3 older Australians have fallen in the past 12 months, which can result in hip fractures. Six out of 10 people who break a hip never fully regain their former level of independence.

We can start taking care of our bones at any age, but if you’re over the age of 40, you can also slow down the naturally occurring bone loss. Regular exercise is essential for maintain strong bones and influences bone density, size, and shape. Proper exercise can add new bone and reduce bone loss as weight-bearing exercises put stress on the bone, resulting in increased osteoblast production. Exercises such as walking, running and weight training are great for our bone health. You can find more information on exercise and bone health here.

If you are struggling with how to implement exercise into your routine, contact Sunshine Coast Neuro Rehab on 5448 1155 or email us at admin@scnr.com.au to discuss what we can do to help you keep your bones strong.

Neve Cavanagh
Physiotherapist, Member APA

References on Exercise for Bone Density

Queensland Health (Facts on falls – Queensland Stay On Your Feet), Department of Health and Ageing (Falls can be prevented! A guide to preventing falls for older people – PDF).

Dyer, S.M., Crotty, M., Fairhall, N. et al. A critical review of the long-term disability outcomes following hip fracture. BMC Geriatr 16, 158 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1186/s12877-016-0332-0

Demontiero O, Vidal C, Duque G. Aging and bone loss: new insights for the clinician. Ther Adv Musculoskelet Dis. 2012;4(2):61-76. doi:10.1177/1759720X11430858

Benedetti MG, Furlini G, Zati A, Letizia Mauro G. The Effectiveness of Physical Exercise on Bone Density in Osteoporotic Patients. Biomed Res Int. 2018;2018:4840531. Published 2018 Dec 23. doi:10.1155/2018/4840531

Howe TE, Shea B, Dawson LJ, Downie F, Murray A, Ross C, Harbour RT, Caldwell LM, Creed G. Exercise for preventing and treating osteoporosis in postmenopausal women. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2011, Issue 7. Art. No.: CD000333. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD000333.pub2. Accessed 20 May 2022.

Pinheiro, M.B., Oliveira, J., Bauman, A. et al. Evidence on physical activity and osteoporosis prevention for people aged 65+ years: a systematic review to inform the WHO guidelines on physical activity and sedentary behaviour. Int J Behav Nutr Phys Act 17, 150 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1186/s12966-020-01040-4