Link Between Physical Activity and Lower Fracture Risk Identified
The study is one more among several papers — all using data from the Women’s Health Initiative — published by UB researchers within the past few years that highlights the health benefits of being active, even at levels that are lower than the current physical activity guidelines.
“Fracture is very common in postmenopausal women, and is associated with loss of independence, physical limitations and increased mortality,” Wactawski-Wende said.
In fact, the researchers note, approximately 1.5 million fractures occur in U.S. women each year, creating $12.7 billion in health care costs. About 14% of these fractures are in the hip. Mortality after a hip fracture is as high as 20%.
Non-recreation physical activity — examples include yardwork 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, says study first author Michael LaMonte, PhD, research associate professor of epidemiology and environmental health at UB, is “sit less, move more, and every movement counts.”