Millions of people with osteoporosis shouldn’t be afraid to exercise regularly, experts have said in tips to boost bone health, reduce the risk of falls and improve posture.
The condition, which weakens bones and makes them more likely to break, affects more than 3 million people in the UK and more than 150 million worldwide.
The most common injuries are fractures of the wrist, hip and spine. More than 500,000 people receive hospital treatment for fragility fractures on the NHS each year due to osteoporosis.
So far there have been no UK guidelines on exercise and osteoporosis. There are some in the US, Australia and Canada, but even that is incomplete.
According to experts, regular exercise strengthens bones, reduces the risk of fractures and falls, and improves posture, while boosting overall mental and physical health. This is why it is important that people with osteoporosis miss nothing.
But uncertainties about what kind of physical activity is safe, particularly later in life or when bones have become significantly weaker, have left doctors uncertain about what to recommend and have deterred some patients from practicing. regular activity.
To clear up the confusion, a multidisciplinary panel of experts reviewed the existing evidence and relied on clinic and patient opinion to reach agreement on recommendations aimed at maximizing bone health while minimizing risk. of fracture.
The resulting consensus statement, endorsed by the Royal Osteoporosis Society, was published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine.
People with the disease should be encouraged to do more rather than less, he says, by undertaking an exercise routine focused on building muscle two to three days a week and short bursts of moderate-impact activities, such as such as jogging, aerobics or Zumba. most days.
And for those who have already suffered a spinal fracture or are frail/elderly, the advice is to include low impact exercise up to the level of brisk walking for 20 minutes a day.
Panel chair Dawn Skelton, Professor of Aging and Health at Glasgow Caledonian University, said: “Anyone new to regular physical activity, worried about their technique or unsure of how to build fitness can ask advice to any trained exercise instructor Those with a history of falls or serious concerns about their balance can contact their local fall prevention service.