One minute of running per day associated with better bone health in women

A single minute of exercise each day is linked to better bone health in women, new research shows. Scientists from the University of Exeter and the University of Leicester found those who did "brief bursts" of high-intensity, weight-bearing activity equivalent to a medium-paced run for pre-menopausal women, or a slow jog for post-menopausal women, had better bone health.

Using data from UK Biobank, the researchers found that women who on average did 60-120 seconds of high-intensity, weight-bearing activity per day had 4% better bone health than those who did less than a minute.

"We don't yet know whether it's better to accumulate this small amount of exercise in bits throughout each day or all at once, and also whether a slightly longer bout of exercise on one or two days per week is just as good as 1-2 minutes a day," said lead author Dr Victoria Stiles, of the University of Exeter.

"But there's a clear link between this kind of high-intensity, weight-bearing exercise and better bone health in women.

"Because this is a cross-sectional study - which assesses data taken from a subset of the population at a particular point in time - we can't be sure whether the high-intensity physical activity led to better bone health, or whether those with better bone health do more of this exercise.

"However, it seems likely that just 1-2 minutes of running a day is good for bone health."

The researchers looked at data on more than 2,500 women, and compared activity levels (measured by wrist-worn monitors) with bone health (measured by an ultrasound scan of heel bone).

As well as finding 4% better bone health among women who did one to two minutes of high-intensity, weight-bearing exercise, they found 6% better bone health among those who did more than two minutes a day.

Dr Stiles said data from UK Biobank - taken from monitors worn for a week - was broken down into single seconds to understand how people go about their daily activities.

"We wanted to make every second count in our analysis, because short snippets of high-intensity activity are more beneficial to bone health than longer, continuous periods," she said.

"We were careful not to ignore short bursts of activity throughout the day."

As a suggestion for anyone interested in increasing their day-to-day levels of activity, Dr Stiles said: "The UK's National Osteoporosis Society recommends increasing your walking activity first.

"Further on, we would suggest adding a few running steps to the walk, a bit like you might if you were running to catch a bus."

Good bone health has multiple health benefits, including a reduced risk of osteoporosis and fractures in older age.

Victoria H Stiles, Brad S Metcalf, Karen M Knapp, Alex V Rowlands.
A small amount of precisely measured high-intensity habitual physical activity predicts bone health in pre- and post-menopausal women in UK Biobank.
Int J Epidemiol 2017 dyx080. doi: 10.1093/ije/dyx080.

Most Popular Now

How SARS-CoV-2 mutates to escape antibody binding

In a recurring pattern of evolution, SARS-CoV-2 evades immune responses by selectively deleting small bits of its genetic sequence, according to new research from the Uni...

Anticancer drug may improve outcome for severe COV…

Treating severe COVID-19 patients with the anticancer drug bevacizumab may reduce mortality and speed up recovery, according to a small clinical study in Italy and China ...

One dose of COVID-19 vaccine provokes strong immun…

Although clinical trial data are encouraging, real-world evidence with regard to the COVID-19 vaccine remains scarce. In particular, response to the vaccine among those p...

Pfizer and BioNTech commence global clinical trial…

Pfizer Inc. (NYSE: PFE) and BioNTech SE (Nasdaq: BNTX) announced today that the first participants have been dosed in a global Phase 2/3 study to further evaluate the saf...

Johnson & Johnson announces submission of appl…

Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ) (the Company) announced that Janssen Biotech, Inc., has submitted an application to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requesting E...

Could a nasal spray prevent coronavirus transmissi…

A nasal antiviral created by researchers at Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons blocked transmission of SARS-CoV-2 in ferrets, suggesting the n...

European Commission purchases additional 150 milli…

Moderna, Inc. (Nasdaq: MRNA), a biotechnology company pioneering messenger RNA (mRNA) therapeutics and vaccines, today announced that the European Commission purchased an...

GSK and Vir Biotechnology expand coronavirus colla…

GlaxoSmithKline plc (LSE/NYSE: GSK) and Vir Biotechnology, Inc. (Nasdaq: VIR) have signed a binding agreement to expand their existing collaboration to include the resear...

Neandertal gene variants both increase and decreas…

Last year, researchers at Karolinska Institutet in Sweden and the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany showed that a major genetic risk ...

CureVac initiates rolling submission with European…

CureVac N.V. (Nasdaq: CVAC), a global biopharmaceutical company developing a new class of transformative medicines based on messenger ribonucleic acid (mRNA), today annou...

Pfizer and BioNTech publish data from in vitro stu…

Pfizer Inc. (NYSE: PFE) and BioNTech SE (Nasdaq: BNTX) today announced the publication in Nature Medicine of data from in vitro studies that demonstrate that sera from in...

Sinovac receives conditional marketing authorizati…

Sinovac Biotech Ltd. (NASDAQ:SVA) ("Sinovac" or the "Company"), a leading provider of biopharmaceutical products in China, announced that the China National Medical Produ...