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Front Physiol. 2011 Oct 18;2:73. doi: 10.3389/fphys.2011.00073. eCollection 2011.

Measurement of osteogenic exercise - how to interpret accelerometric data?

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  • 1Department of Medical Technology, Institute of Biomedicine, University of Oulu Oulu, Finland.


Bone tissue adapts to its mechanical loading environment. We review here the accelerometric measurements with special emphasis on osteogenic exercise. The accelerometric method offers a unique opportunity to assess the intensity of mechanical loadings. We present methods to interpret accelerometric data, reducing it to the daily distributions of magnitude, slope, area, and energy of signal. These features represent the intensity level of physical activities, and were associated with the changes in bone density, bone geometry, physical performance, and metabolism in healthy premenopausal women. Bone adaptations presented a dose- and intensity dependent relationship with impact loading. Changes in hip were threshold dependent, indicating the importance of high-impacts exceeding acceleration of 4 g or slope of 100 g/s as an osteogenic stimulus. The number of impacts needed was 60/day. We also present the daily impact score to describe the osteogenic potential of daily mechanical loading with a single score. The methodology presented here can be used to study musculoskeletal adaptation to exercise in other target groups as well.


BMD; accelerometer; biomechanics; bone; exercise; mechanical loading; osteoporosis; physical activity

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