[Role of physical activity in the prevention of osteoporosis]

Med Monatsschr Pharm. 2008 Jul;31(7):259-64.
[Article in German]


In recent years, osteoporosis has become a leading cause of morbidity and mortality in elderly women. Research has demonstrated that the prevention of osteoporosis and osteoporosis-related fractures may best be achieved by initiating sound health behaviors early in life and continuing them throughout life. Evidence suggests that osteoporosis is easier to prevent than to treat. In fact, healthy early life practices, including the adequate consumption of most nutrients, calcium in particular, and regular physical activity, contribute to greater bone mineral mass and optimal peak bone mass. Bone is living tissue that responds to exercise by becoming stronger. Two types of exercises are important for building and maintaining bone mass and density: Weight-bearing exercises, in which bones and muscles work against gravity and resistance training that use muscular strength to improve muscle mass and strengthen bone. Exercise can also improve gait, balance, coordination, proprioception, reaction time, and muscle strength, even in very old and frail elderly people. Overall, the evidence strongly suggests that regular physical activity, especially started in childhood and adolescence, is a cheap and safe way of both improving bone strength and reducing the risk to fall.

Publication types

  • English Abstract
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Female
  • Fractures, Bone / etiology
  • Fractures, Bone / prevention & control
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Motor Activity / physiology*
  • Osteoporosis / complications
  • Osteoporosis / diagnosis
  • Osteoporosis / prevention & control*
  • Physical Fitness / physiology
  • Risk Factors
  • Sports / physiology