HEALTH: Hopping fights osteoporosis

“Older people could reduce risk of osteoporosis by hopping for two minutes a day,” the Daily Mirror reports. A UK study found regular hopping increased bone density in older men. The study assigned more than 30 healthy older men to exercises on one leg and compared the change in bone density with the other leg.

It found five sets of 10 hops, with a 15-second rest between each set, every day increased the density of some parts of the hip. The men, aged 65 to 80 years old, were followed up with a second scan after 12 months.

Some of the media claim this has major implications for the prevention and management of osteoporosis. But these findings were from a group of healthy older males without osteoporosis and no other health conditions. It is unclear whether hopping would be effective, and safe, for people who actually have osteoporosis.

The follow-up time was also relatively modest – just 12 months – so it is uncertain whether this exercise regime would prevent bone fractures in the long term. Women feature in many of the newspaper pictures, but were not participants in this study.

Ways to prevent osteoporosis include weight-bearing exercises. For people aged over 60, this can include brisk walking. Read more about this study on the NHS website

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