Preventing Hip Fractures: Walking

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Studies have shown that physically active women are substantially less likely than their sedentary counterparts to suffer a hip fracture.

Evidence suggests that walking and other types of physical activity reduce fracture risk by increasing muscle strength and balance as well as by promoting bone remodeling.

Investigators at Harvard Medical School examined the relationship between fracture incidence, leisure time activities and related factors in 61,200 women. The study was conducted over 12 years and included participation in 7 categories of activities including walking, jogging, running, bicycling, racquet sports, swimming and other aerobic activities.

Researchers found that fracture risk was inversely correlated with activity level; for example, women who walked for at least four hours per week had a 41% reduced risk of hip fracture.

Women using hormone replacement therapy had a fracture risk that was only slightly lower than that of their sedentary peers.

Women who are not using hormones showed striking benefits from exercise.

The risk of hip fracture for highly active women was only 0.3 compared to sedentary women.

It certainly is felt that walking is a very suitable activity for lowering fracture risk.