Physical activity and bone health

Physical activity and bone health

Summary of the assigned article

Physical activity entails the movement of the body parts, which involves the use of energy.  It is through this movement that the bones become healthy and strong.

Some of the physical activities include: riding the bicycle, trimming the fences, digging, dancing, walking at a faster speed, aerobics and running. Physical activities should be carried out in a moderate manner for them to be of high health benefits.

Physical activities involving lifting moderately heavy objects leads in increased bone health in children and adults. These activities include basketball, football and gymnastics. It is important for the children and adolescents to engage in various physical activities because the bone mass they gain have long-term benefits in their in adulthood.

In adults, the main aim of the physical activities is to ensure that the bone mass is maintained. According to Khan (2001), adults who are physically active have an increased bone mineral density and thus they decreased the risk of osteoporosis. Activities that involve weight-lifting and resistance are highly recommended to elderly people to help them improve their body balance and maintain strong bones.

To maintain bones that are less prone fracture in old age, it is advisable to increase bone mineral density in childhood and in adolescence stage to ensure strong skeleton after forty years. There is a high decline in bone mineral density at age of forty because of factors such as hormonal changes, decreased physical exercises and aging.

The increase of bone mass can be done by pharmacologic therapy but the physical activity remains as the major solution that can both increase the bone mass and strength and resistance at old age. Other Bone health problems related to exercise include the risk of stress fractures with high-volume training and the decline of bone related to a condition called amenorrhea.

Application of the information in a practical setting

Ultrasonography is a method used to determine the bone stiffness. Strength and resistance of the skeleton to fracture relies on bone geometry also. Therefore, methods that allow the measurement of cross-sectional geometry by use of techniques such as Peripheral Quantitative Computed Tomography and High-Resolution Magnetic Resonance Imaging are which are still in the process of being developed.

Physical activity and bone health information is also being applied in researches to enhance the osteogenic response to mechanical loading in animals. This kind of response has not been evaluated in human beings but the researchers are stimulated to begin a research in this new field.

Knowledge of physical activities is also applied in decreasing risk fractures caused by osteoporosis without involving nutritional or genetic factors.

Common principles in training of physical exercises apply to the impacts of physical activity on the bone. According to Khan (2001), overloading forces have to be applied to the skeleton to activate an adaptive response. Increasing the overloading forces progressively enhances continuity of the adaptation. It is important to emphasize that the stimulus to bone is brought about by physical deformation of the skeletal cells and not by the metabolic and cardiovascular factors.

In human beings, the adaptive response of bone to adjustments in physical exercise training has also been analyzed. This includes prospective studies done on athletes while training and controlled intervention studies whereby physical exercise is increased or decreased.


Physical activity involving weight-lifting has a positive effect on bone health in both children and adults. Some physical activities that result in high-intensity loading forces include: gymnastics and running. Bone mass acquired in childhood is maintained into adulthood meaning that physical activities in childhood have long-term importance on bone health.


Khan, K. (2001). Physical activity and bone health. Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics.


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