1 in 3 women and 1 in 5 men over 50 years old are affected by osteoporosis at some point in their life (1). So what is osteoporosis? Osteoporosis is a debilitating health condition affecting our bones. It makes our bones thin and weak, and particularly susceptible to bone fractures even if the bump is small. These fractures are most common in the hip, spine or wrists, and severely impact mobility, independence and pain.
What causes Osteoporosis?
There are several risk factors which can make you more likely to develop osteoporosis. These include being above 50 years old, being a woman post menopause, family history of osteoporosis or low bone density and other medical conditions effecting your hormone levels (2).
The above are unchangeable factors, however, there are several lifestyle changes that can reduce your risk of developing osteoporosis. These include:
Calcium is essential for building and maintaining bone density and strength. We need strong bones to prevent fractures and maintain optimum health. You can increase your calcium intake through dairy products, calcium supplements or through non-dairy food products including almonds, salmon, white beans, oranges, broccoli or chick peas.
Regular physical activity helps to improve balance, muscle strength and mobility, which all help to increase our muscle capability and strength of our bones, meaning we are less likely to fall over and create fractures in our bones. For simple regular activities you can do weight bearing exercises such as walking, gardening or tennis, and resistance exercises such as lifting weights. Increasing your protein intake can also help build muscle mass to further prevent falls and fractures.
Spend around 10-20 minutes a day in the sun or take vitamin D tablets. Vitamin D is used in the body to absorb more calcium, and regulate calcium levels and support bone growth.
Try some of these healthy tips to increase your bone health this World Osteoporosis Day 20th of September.
Find more of our health tips here https://simplyhealthandwellness.com.au/health-tips/
(1) International Osteoporosis Foundation. 2015. Serve up bone strength throughout life. P 1-24. http://share.iofbonehealth.org/WOD/2015/patient-brochure/WOD15-patient_brochure.pdf date accessed: 16/9/20
(2) Osteoporosis Australia Medical & Scientific Advisory Committee. 2017. Risk factors, Osteoporosis Australia. https://www.osteoporosis.org.au/risk-factors date accessed: 16/9/20