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Am J Mens Health. 2015 Nov;9(6):442-50. doi: 10.1177/1557988314549749. Epub 2014 Sep 18.

Physical Activity-Associated Bone Loading During Adolescence and Young Adulthood Is Positively Associated With Adult Bone Mineral Density in Men.

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University of Missouri, Columbia, MO, USA.
University of Missouri, Columbia, MO, USA


Physical activity during growth increases bone mass and strength; however, it remains unclear whether these benefits persist. The purpose of this study was to determine: (a) if bone loading during adolescence (13-18 years) or young adulthood (19-29 years) in men is associated with greater bone mineral density (BMD) in adulthood; (b) if current participation in high-impact activity (ground reaction force>4×body weight) and/or resistance training is associated with greater BMD; and, (c) if continuous participation in a high-impact activity from adolescence to adulthood is associated with greater BMD. Apparently healthy, physically active men aged 30 to 65 years (n=203) participated in this cross-sectional study. Exercise-associated bone loading was estimated based on ground reaction forces of historical physical activity. Current BMD was measured using dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry. Participants were grouped based on current participation in a high-impact activity (n=18), resistance training (n=57), both (n=14), or neither (n=114); groups were compared by two-way analysis of covariance. Bone loading during adolescence and young adulthood were significant, positive predictors of BMD of the whole body, total hip, and lumbar spine, adjusting for lean body mass and/or age in the regression models. Individuals who currently participate in a high-impact activity had greater lumbar spine BMD than nonparticipants. Men who continuously participated in a high-impact activity had greater hip and lumbar spine BMD than those who did not. In conclusion, physical activity-associated bone loading both during and after skeletal growth is positively associated with adult bone mass.


bone mineral density; high-impact exercise; osteoporosis

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