Friday, September 14, 2007

Keep moving when told to have weak bones

old woman moving
Knowing her bone status is a good thing for an elderly woman, but this awareness may have a serious side effect. Instead of lowering the risk of bone fractures, it may increase it, as a Danish study shows: Knowing to suffer from osteoporosis makes women anxious, thus being less active. This makes the bone mineral density decline even faster, increasing the risk of falls and bone fractures.

In-depth interviews revealed that the women who have been told to have osteoporosis strongly underrated what their bones could endure. They wrongly imagined them as fragile and believed they must avoid every strain. But just the opposite is true: Only physical activities can stimulate the formation of bone mass and prevent a too rapid bone loss in older age.

Dare it and bear it

According to the Danish study, all persons suffering from osteoporosis should be encouraged to engage more than before in physical activity, especially of the weight-bearing kind. This is likely to reduce the risk of bone fractures inside and outside of the body: Inside because the bone loss is slowed down, and outside because of a better motion skill in actual situations where a fall could happen.

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