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J Prev Med Public Health. 2013 Mar;46(2):89-95. doi: 10.3961/jpmph.2013.46.2.89. Epub 2013 Mar 28.

Physical activity in adolescence has a positive effect on bone mineral density in young men.

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  • 1Chung-Ang University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.



Little is yet known about the determinants of bone mineral density (BMD) in young adults. Thus, in this study, we aimed to determine the factors that have an impact on BMD in young men.


Questionnaires were sent out to 111 male medical students. Information on age, socio-economic status, medical history, lifestyle, physical activity during adolescence, school club participation, current physical activity, and dietary intake were collected by the survey. Height, weight, percent body fat and muscle mass were estimated by bioelectrical impedance, and BMD was obtained using calcaneal quantitative ultrasound. Using the Poisson regression model, prevalence ratios (PRs) were used to estimate the degree of association between risk factors and osteopenia.


The height and current physical activity showed a correlation to the Osteoporosis Index. Among the categorized variables, past physical activity during adolescence (p=0.002) showed a positive effect on the bone mineral content. In the multivariate model, past physical activity (≥1 time/wk) had a protective effect on osteopenia (PR, 0.37; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.18 to 0.75) and present physical activity (1000 metabolic equivalent of task-min/wk) decreased the risk of osteopenia (PR, 0.64; 95% CI, 0.44 to 0.91).


Past physical activity during adolescence is as important as physical activity in the present for BMD in young men.


Bone density; Metabolic bone diseases; Motor activity; Risk factors

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