Exercise beneficial for osteoporosis
Falls are a major cause of disability among the elderly, and those with osteoporosis are at particular risk of falling and sustaining a bone fracture. Exercises that boost strength and agility may lessen the odds of falling in elderly women with brittle bones.
Women in all three groups took 50-minute exercise classes twice a week at a community centre. After six months, those in the strength-training and agility-training groups showed a greater drop in fall risk compared with women in the stretching group. Fall risk, which was estimated with a standard battery of tests, declined by about 57 per cent with strength training and 47 per cent with agility training. That compares with 20 percent in the stretching group.According to the researchers, much of the benefit from both types of training had to do with postural stability. This is gauged in tests that measure how much the body sways when a person is standing still. After six months, women in the strength and agility groups were steadier on their feet than at the study's start. The findings also suggest that strength training may be a particularly good way for elderly adults with osteoporosis to exercise. While participants found the agility program enjoyable, it carried a higher risk of falls, and it may be a less feasible type of activity compared with strength training.
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