Daily physical activity and bone mineral density in older women

Maria Carrasco Ignacio Martínez María Dolores Navarro About the authors


the fast aging of contemporary population has influenced the development of strategies for the prevention of osteoporosis among elderly people. Daily physical activity is believed to increase bone mass and possibly help to prevent bone loss in old people. However, the minimal amount or intensity of physical activity to induce higher bone mass in old women remains insufficiently studied.


to examine the association between the amount and the intensity of daily physical activity and bone mineral density (BMD) in the hand, in elderly women.


the study subjects were 24 women (age 66-78 years), who carried an accelerometer-based body movement recorder in their wrist for 7 days for individual quantification of their daily physical activity. To measure BMD, the right hand with dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) was developed.


a significant relationship between weekday counts and T-score (r=0.99), and horizontal weekday counts and T-score (r=0.99), was found in normal bone and osteoporotic bone group respectively. The relation between T-score and the minutes of physical activity was not clear in both groups.


the higher quality of the bone in the hand is associated with the higher weekday physical activity intensity in this elderly women sample. The combination of accelerometry and X-ray absorptiometry at the hand level brings similar results than other less accessible methods.

accelerometry; aged; bone density

Sociedade Brasileira de Medicina do Exercício e do Esporte Av. Brigadeiro Luís Antônio, 278, 6º and., 01318-901 São Paulo SP, Tel.: +55 11 3106-7544, Fax: +55 11 3106-8611 - São Paulo - SP - Brazil
E-mail: atharbme@uol.com.br