BBC Homepage World Service Education
BBC Homepagelow graphics version | feedback | help
BBC News Online
 You are in: Health
Front Page 
World 
UK 
UK Politics 
Business 
Sci/Tech 
Health 
Background Briefings 
Medical notes 
Education 
Entertainment 
Talking Point 
In Depth 
AudioVideo 

Friday, 19 January, 2001, 00:39 GMT
'Sport prevents fractures', says study
Women in aerobics class
Regular sport cuts the risk of hip fractures
Vigorous sports can cut your risks of suffering from hip fractures, according to new research.

Scientists from Cambridge University found that people taking part in higher impact sports like jogging, tennis, badminton and competitive running were less likely to suffer hip fractures.


If you want to avoid fracture don't be a couch potato and exercise a lot in your middle years

Hugh Phillips, Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon
Less high impact sports such as rowing and sailing were found to have a limited affect on bone health, with swimming and fishing having no affect at all.

Climbing stairs regularly was also shown to play a part in building bone strength in women.

The researchers from Cambridge University's Institute of Public Health, questioned over 5,000 people aged between 45-74 about how much exercise they took.

And they found that men exercising regularly could cut their risk of hip fractures by 33% and women by 12%.

High impact sports
High impact aerobics, step aerobics
Competitive running
Jogging
Tennis or badminton
Squash
Football, rugby or hockey
Netball, volleyball, basketball

But the researchers said they would not advise older people to start taking up high impact sports late in life as this could lead to them suffering even more injuries.

"In older people such interventions may be inappropriate as they could increase the likelihood of falls," they said.

Orthopaedic surgeons have welcomed the research, but say people need to start doing the high impact sports as young as possible if it is to have any affect on their health.

Clear message

Hugh Phillips, consultant orthopaedic surgeon at Norfolk and Norwich Hospital and a past president of the British Orthopaedic Association and the British Hip Association, said the research's message was clear.

"If you want to avoid fracture, don't be a couch potato and exercise a lot in your middle years.

He said that as people tend to lose bone density as they grow older, the years up to 35 particularly for women are the most important.

"High impact exercise is very appropriate for women less than 35 years old."

He added that the research could be very useful in channelling young people towards exercise and away from the sofa.

"It seems to me that they are drawing quite valid conclusions and any kind of method of preventing fractures is certainly a useful thing to do," he said.

Search BBC News Online

Advanced search options
Launch console
BBC RADIO NEWS
BBC ONE TV NEWS
WORLD NEWS SUMMARY
PROGRAMMES GUIDE
See also:

30 Aug 00 | Health
Coral heals serious fractures
Internet links:


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more Health stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Health stories