Sunday, September 6, 2015

Men Do Get It

Picture by German Tenorlo from Flickr
Mention osteoporosis and usually what comes to mind is that someone has fragile or brittle bones and that someone is usually female. If I'm a guy I don't have to worry about it.

It will probably shock you then that estimates in America show that almost two million men have osteoporosis and 16 million men have osteopenia (bone density that is lower than normal but not low enough to be considered osteoporotic). The contributing factors are not doing correct exercises and ageing.

Medication can help improve bone health but recent studies show that strength training and jumping exercises are a healthy alternative.

Researchers studied a group of osteopenic men for a year comparing the effects of weight training and jumping exercises. Both groups of participants completed 60-120 minutes of targeted exercises each week.

The jumping exercises included jump squats, forward hops, split squats, box jumps and depth jumps. The weight training group did squats, modified dead lifts, lunges and calf raises with weights.

Both groups also took calcium and a vitamin D supplement during the study period.

Six months into the research, both groups of men had a significant increase in whole body bone mass, including the lumbar spine (low back) and they maintained the increases for 12 months.

The weight lifting group also had a significant increase in hip bone density. At the end of the study, all the participants had sufficient vitamin D.

The participants also reported low pain and fatigue suggesting that the exercises have good compliance rates and can be easily adapted in a real life setting.

The researchers concluded that targeted exercise with the correct supplements are an effective way to improve bone density rates to reduce risk of developing osteoporosis in men.


Hinton PS, Nigh P et al (2015). Effectiveness Of Resistance Training Or Jumping-exercise To Increase Bone Mineral Density in Men With Low Bone Mass: A 12-month Randomized, Clinical Trial. Bone. 79: 203-212. DOI: 10.1016/j.bone.2015.06.008.

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