Washington: Keeping the body moving through physical activity does not only ensure the overall well-being, but it also reduces the risk of hip or any other fracture in older women. The study highlighting the comprehensive evaluation of physical activity and fracture incidence in postmenopausal women was published in JAMA Network Open.
To establish a relation between the two, researchers included over 77,000 participants in the Women's Health Initiative, who were followed up over 14 years. During the follow-up, 33 per cent of participants reported experiencing at least one fracture.
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 per cent lower risk of hip fracture and 6 per cent lower risk of total fracture.
"These findings provide evidence that fracture reduction is among the many positive attributes of regular physical activity in older women," said study co-author Jean Wactawski-Wende, PhD, 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," Wactawski-Wende said. "Modest activities, including walking, can significantly reduce the risk of fracture, which can, in turn, lower the risk of death," Wactawski-Wende suggested.
Non-recreation physical activity – examples include yard work 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 main message is "sit less, move more, and every movement counts," said study first author Michael LaMonte, PhD, research associate professor of epidemiology and environmental health at UB.