Exercise and Osteoporosis

An Insight into the Effect of Exercises on the Prevention of Osteoporosis and Associated Fractures in High-Risk Individuals

Helen Senderovich and Andrew Kosmopoulos


The purpose of this review was to investigate what type of exercises can potentially prevent osteoporosis (OP) and its associated fractures in high-risk populations. MEDLINE was searched for work relevant to various types of exercises used to prevent osteoporotic fractures in high-risk population, from the year 1995 onwards. Twelve articles were identified, and, from them, four were deemed suitable to the objective. The studies reviewed show that various types of exercise are effective and safe in preventing the onset of OP. For example, high-intensity progressive resistance training (HiPRT) has been shown to increase vertebral height and femoral neck bone mineral density (BMD), in addition to improving functional performance. Additional studies reviewed suggested that bone reabsorption levels may be positively impacted by low-impact exercise, such as walking. This review provides insight into the effectiveness of various types of exercise to combat and possibly prevent OP for high-risk individuals, which include postmenstrual Caucasian females, people with multiple comorbidities, individuals who smoke or consume alcohol, and the frail elderly population. The prevention of OP should reduce both the social (emotional) and economic burdens faced by patients, caregivers, and health-care systems. Moving forward, research that identifies and bridges pharmaceutical treatment and exercise should be conducted, in addition to the comparison of passive versus active forms of exercise to determine which treatment best prevents OP in high-risk populations.

Rambam Maimonides Med J 2018;9(1):e0005