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Running and bone density: more info

March 1st, 2009

Wow, research moves pretty quickly. Just a few hours after posting about the lack of good evidence that running helps bone density…presto! I get a press release about an article by University of Missouri researchers in the current issue of the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research about how great running is for bone density. You can read the press release here:

In the study, the researchers determined the effects of long-term running, cycling, and resistance training on whole-body and regional BMD [bone mineral density], taking into account the effects of body weight and composition, in men ages 19 to 45. After adjusting for differences in lean body mass, the researchers found that runners had greater spine BMD than cyclists.

This still doesn’t tell us explicitly about how activities like elliptical training, which are weight-bearing but not high-impact, affect bone density. The University of Missouri researchers seem pretty convinced that the jarring action of running (or jumping around by playing basketball, for example) helps bone density. The question is, how much?

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