Researchers stress weight-bearing exercise for bone strength

by Dave Taylor
Jenifer Fortney of Hindsboro, Ill., a graduate student in physician assistant studies at Indiana State University, prepares to conduct a bone-density screening March 8, 2014, at Honey Creek Mall in Terre Haute. Credit: ISU/Rachel Keyes

When Denise Allee went shopping at Terre Haute's Honey Creek Mall on a recent Saturday, she left with some piece of mind.

Future from Indiana State University had set up a booth inside the mall's main entrance, offering free bone-density scans as part of a research project.

"We have a few bone problems that go in the family, so I just thought I would go ahead and have it checked out," said Allee, 59, of Bloomingdale. "I was surprised how good I did."

Surprised and relieved - "very relieved," she said, following the simple two-minute test and after answering a few questions about her weight and level of physical at age 27.

"We're looking at women between the ages of 45 and 65 and at their activity level at 27, which is when it is estimated is at its peak," explained Lindsey Sims, a master's degree student in physician assistant studies. "We're doing to see if their activity levels have increased their bone density or if they were sedentary and have decreased their density."

Sims and two of her fellow students are testing a theory that being overweight as a young adult can result in decreased risk for osteoporosis later in life.

"We're hypothesizing that if you're overweight, then you're putting weight-bearing activity on yourself, on your body and on your bones, so that would have an equivalent effect of working out at the gym," she said.

So far, the students in Indiana State's College of Nursing, Health, and Human Services have found most women who have the test done are at low risk for osteoporosis.

Still, said Sims, the research could help today's young women recognize the importance of weight-bearing activities and how they could benefit them later in life.

But researchers stress it is healthier overall if those weight-bearing activities come from working out in the gym, rather than carrying around a few extra pounds.

Sims said her involvement in the study is helping her become an even stronger proponent of exercise when she treats future patients.

"I can push them toward a more active lifestyle, so that there is a significant impact on their later life," she said. "It could change my perspective and make me more proactive."

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Romosozumab increases bone mineral density post-menopause

Jan 06, 2014

(HealthDay)—Romosozumab seems safe and effective for increasing bone mineral density in postmenopausal women with low bone mineral density, according to a study published online Jan. 1 in the New England Jo ...

Recommended for you

Study reveals state of crisis in Canadian foster care system

Oct 24, 2014

A new study of foster care in Canada led by a researcher at Western University reveals a shrinking number of foster care providers are available across the country to care for a growing number of children with increasingly ...

Researchers prove the benefits of persimmons for diet

Oct 24, 2014

Alba Mir and Ana Domingo, researchers from the Department of Analytical Chemistry of the University of Valencia, under the supervision of professors Miguel de la Guardia and Maria Luisa Cervera, from the same department, ...

Hand blenders used for cooking can emit persistent chemicals

Oct 24, 2014

Eight out of twelve tested models of hand blenders are leaking chlorinated paraffins when used according to the suppliers' instructions. This is revealed in a report from Stockholm University where researchers analyzed a ...

User comments