Review Article

Osteoporosis International

, Volume 7, Issue 6, pp 503-513

First online:

Physical activity and predisposition for hip fractures: A review

  • R. M. JoakimsenAffiliated withInstitute of Community Medicine, University of Tromsø Email author 
  • , J. H. MagnusAffiliated withDepartment of Rheumatology, University of Tromsø
  • , V. FønnebøAffiliated withInstitute of Community Medicine, University of Tromsø

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Studies on the association between physical activity and hip fractures are reviewed. All the studies, which comprise four follow-up studies, one nested case-control study and 17 case-control studies, suggest a protective effect of physical activity with regard to hip fractures. The association is strong and consistent with physical activity in leisure, weaker with respect to physical activity at work. The association is present for physical activity from childhood to adult age, and it is consistent in study populations from the USA, Australia, Asia and Northern and Southern Europe, in spite of very different hip fractures incidences in these populations. The magnitude of the association is difficult to assess because of varying criteria for exposure, but to be among the physically active seems to reduce the risk of later hip fracture by up to 50%. It seems that even daily chores, such as climbing stairs and walking, protect against hip fracture.


Exercise Hip fracture Osteoporosis Physical fitness