Regular physical activity, including lighter intensity activities such as walking, is associated with reduced risk of hip and total fracture in postmenopausal women, according to new research from the University at Buffalo.
The study, published recently in JAMA Network Open, included more than 77,000 participants in the Women’s Health Initiative, who were followed up over 14 years. During follow-up, 33% of participants reported experiencing at least one fracture.
The women who did the highest amount of physical activity — which was approximately 35 minutes or more of daily recreational and household activities — had an 18% lower risk of hip fracture and 6% lower risk of total fracture, a media release from University at Buffalo explains.
“These findings provide evidence that fracture reduction is among the many positive attributes of regular physical activity in older women,” says Jean Wactawski-Wende, PhD, study co-author and dean of the University at Buffalo School of Public Health and Health Professions.
“Fracture is very common in postmenopausal women, and is associated with loss of independence, physical limitations and increased mortality. Modest activities, including walking, can significantly reduce the risk of fracture, which can, in turn, lower the risk of death,” Wactawski-Wende adds.
Non-recreation physical activity — examples include yardwork and household chores such as sweeping the floors or folding laundry — also was inversely associated with several types of fracture.
The research has important implications for public health, considering that these lighter intensity activities are common among older adults, the researchers suggest.
The main message, concludes study first author Michael LaMonte, PhD, research associate professor of epidemiology and environmental health at UB, is “sit less, move more, and every movement counts.”
[Source(s): University at Buffalo, EurekAlert]