Boys Jogging We are already aware about the seeming benefits of performing exercise for those diagnosed with osteoporosis. While physical activity is believed to help osteoporosis patients acquire mobility, it also aids in averting the condition. Now scientists from the University of Bristol claim that vigorous physical activity like running and jogging helps build bones in children and prevent osteoporosis. More gentle exercise like walking, on the other hand, may have little effect on the risk of osteoporosis in later life.

While conducting the study, investigators compared the amount of day-to-day physical activity and bone development in 1,748 boys and girls aged 15 years from the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (ALSPAC/Children of the 90s). All the subjects were asked to wear a physical activity monitor for one week to record day-to-day activity. The achieved results were then matched to bone thickness and size of the shinbone (tibia) in the lower leg. Physical activity recordings were monitored within different bands of exercise intensity, defined as light, moderate and vigorous.

“Encouraging children to increase their daily activity is only likely to benefit their bone development, and thereby reduce their risk of osteoporosis when they are older, if this includes increased participation in more vigorous activities such as playing sports,” remarked Professor Jon Tobias who headed this study.

This enabled authors to compare the level of activity against measures of bone development. The amount of vigorous activity, equivalent to jogging, running and playing sports was possibly linked with tibial size and thickness. So, bone size 7mm2 greater in the top 25 percent of adolescents engaging in vigorous physical activity was compared to those in the bottom 25 percent. On completion of the study, no relationship in the amount of less intense physical activity like walking was registered. The study findings may have important implications in terms of public-health campaigns for promoting physical activity.

The study is published online in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism.