Prevention and management of osteoporosis: consensus statements from the Scientific Advisory Board of the Osteoporosis Society of Canada. 5. Physical activity as therapy for osteoporosis.CMAJ 1996; 155(7):940-4CMAJ
To examine exercise as a therapy for people with osteoporosis.
Risk of injury, quality of life, risk of falls and fractures, strength and posture and pain management.
Relevant epidemiologic studies, clinical trials and reviews were examined, including the large-scale FICSIT trial in the United States, a prospective 4-year study of women enrolled in an exercise program in Toronto and the large-scale Study of Osteoporotic Fractures.
Minimizing risk of injury and increasing quality of life were given a high value.
BENEFITS, HARMS, AND COSTS
Moderate physical activity in people with osteoporosis can reduce the risk of falls and fractures, decrease pain and improve fitness and overall quality of life. It may also stimulate bone gain and decrease bone loss. Its positive effects are an adjunct to other interventions, such as hormonal therapy. It may give patients the confidence to resume regular activity and can provide social interaction and support. During exercise programs, proper nutrition is necessary to prevent excessive weight loss and impaired immune function resulting from inadequate protein, vitamin and mineral intake.
Immobilization should be avoided if possible in anyone with osteoporosis or at increased risk for osteoporosis. Regular, moderate physical activity is recommended for those with osteoporosis. Elderly people should be assessed for risk of falling to identify those in greatest need of an exercise program. Community group exercise programs are beneficial. Younger people with osteoporosis also need exercise that will preserve or improve bone mass, muscular strength, endurance and cardiovascular fitness. Weight loss as a result of physical activity should be avoided and adequate intake of protein, vitamins and minerals assured. Because the benefits of physical activity are independent of the effect of other therapies, physical activity is an essential adjunct to appropriate nutrition and other therapies.
These recommendations were developed by the Scientific Advisory Board of the Osteoporosis Society of Canada at its 1995 Consensus Conference. They are in agreement with the position taken on osteoporosis and exercise by the United States Center for Disease Control and Prevention and the American College of Sports Medicine.
Sponsors of the 1995 conference included the Dairy Farmers of Canada, Eli Lilly Canada, Inc., Hoffmann-La Roche Canada Ltd., Merck Frosst Canada Inc. and Procter & Gamble Pharmaceuticals Canada Inc.