Exercise Frequency and Fracture Risk in Older Adults—How Often Is Enough?
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Purpose of Review
Due to older people’s low sports participation rates, exercise frequency may be the most critical component for designing exercise protocols that address fracture risk. The aims of the present article were to review and summarize the independent effect of exercise frequency (ExFreq) on the main determinants of fracture prevention, i.e., bone strength, fall frequency, and fall impact in older adults.
Evidence collected last year suggests that there is a critical dose of ExFreq that just affects bone (i.e., BMD). Corresponding data for fall-related fracture risk are still sparse and inconsistent, however.
The minimum effective dose (MED) of ExFreq that just favorably affects BMD at the lumbar spine and femoral neck has been found to vary between 2.1 and 2.5 sessions/week. Although this MED cannot necessarily be generalized to other cohorts, we speculate that this “critical exercise frequency” might not significantly vary among adult cohorts.
KeywordsExercise frequency Minimum effective dose Bone mineral density Falls Postmenopausal women Physical activity Exercise parameters Older people
We are thankful for the support of the “Behinderten und Rehabilitations-Sportverband Bayern” (Munich, Germany), “Netzwerk Knochengesundheit” (Erlangen, Germany), and the Institute of Sports and Sport Sciences, Friedrich-Alexander University of Erlangen-Nürnberg, Germany.
Compliance with Ethical Standards
Conflict of Interest
Wolfgang Kemmler, Matthias Kohl, and Simon von Stengel declare no conflicts of interest.
Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent
This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.
Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance •• Of major importance
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