A lot of exercise in everyday life leads to improved bone density in women, according to the results of a study by researchers at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. The study was published in the American Journal of Human Biology.
A lifestyle involving a lot of exercise and physical activity appears to be associated with improved bone density in women. It was particularly noticeable that the bone density of the radius (spoke; forearm bone) is greatly increased by such a lifestyle full of movement.
Over the past four years, the research group has studied a sample of women in rural Poland to find out how their lifestyle affects bone density. The lives of the women studied involved a lot of agricultural and domestic work, such as growing fruit and vegetables or caring for farm animals.
Women from rural areas were studied
The researchers took the basic body measurements of the women and additionally analyzed their movement patterns. In addition, the team used a so-called bone monometer, which is a device that makes it easy to measure bone density.
The researchers focused their investigation on women between 18 and 46 years of age. According to the experts, this age group of women is often not included in studies of bone density.
“We wondered why there is so little research on premenopausal women, since their bone density and activity are believed to predict postmenopausal osteoporosis,” study author Professor Kathryn Clancy of the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign reported in a press release.
The research group found that measures such as grip strength and lean mass are related to bone density in premenopausal women. The team observed that the bone density of the radius was very high in Polish women compared to an average white woman of European descent.
Interestingly, no increased bone density was observed in Polish-American women, the research team reported. It is unclear, however, which factors caused this. In future studies, it is important to consider which population groups are not represented in the literature, and the lifestyle of these persons should also be analyzed, the researchers emphasize.
How does lifestyle affect bone density?
In further studies, the team would also like to find out whether the childhood environment has influenced women’s bone health. Childhood activities could have a significant influence on bone health and play a greater role than the activities that women do today, the researchers suspect. (as)
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