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Lancet Diabetes Endocrinol. 2019 Nov 20. pii: S2213-8587(19)30351-1. doi: 10.1016/S2213-8587(19)30351-1. [Epub ahead of print]

Physical activity and skeletal health in adults.

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Graduate School of Public Health, Department of Epidemiology, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA, USA. Electronic address:
BC Matthews Hall and Lyle S Hallman Institute, Department of Kinesiology, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, ON, Canada.


The purpose of this Review is to examine the associations between physical activity and skeletal health, with an emphasis on observational studies with fracture outcomes and randomised controlled trials (RCTs) of physical activity interventions in adults older than 40 years. In general, increased physical activity-primarily leisure time activity or moderate or vigorous physical activity-is associated with a 1-40% lower risk of hip and all fractures. The primary limitation of these studies relates to health status; healthy people are more likely to exercise and less likely to fracture. Although there is no sufficiently powered RCT of exercise with a fracture outcome, there is evidence that some types of exercise prevent falls and bone loss, and meta-analyses support the anti-fracture effectiveness of exercise. RCTs and meta-analyses suggest that programmes combining impact exercise with moderate or high-intensity progressive resistance exercise might maintain or improve bone mass and prevent fractures, and that functional strength and balance training prevents falls.

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