We have all heard that exercise is good for bones, but exactly how much physical activity is needed to reduce your risk of fracture when you have osteoporosis? This question is what Karl Stattin, MD from Uppsola Science Park in Sweden, and colleagues, examined in a study soon to be published in the Journal of Bone and Mineral Research. Stattin, et al. followed 66,940 women and men for a maximum of 17 years and found that walking or biking less than 20 minutes a day helped to lower the rate of hip fracture compared to those who hardly ever walked/bicycled. At (less than) 20 minutes a day times 7 days…that is just over two hours of exercise a week that is needed to help lower your fracture risk! Not much at all!
Dr. Stattin pushed this question even more by examining if just 1 hour a week of exercise could lower fracture risk. Now, 1 hour a week is not much! The result, yes, just 1 hour a week of exercise DOES lower the rate of hip fracture, or ANY fracture for that matter, compared with those who exercised less than 1 hour per week.
So, the next time you get frustrated because of lack of time to fit everything in, remember, just one hour of exercise is better than nothing at all. Go have some fun.
Stattin, K., et al. 2017. Leisure-time physical activity and risk of fracture: a cohort study of 66,940 men and women. JBMR. DOI: 10.1002/jbmr.3161.