n International SportMed Journal - A critical review of exercise training effects on bone mineral density (BMD) in early postmenopausal women : article review

Volume 5, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1528-3356



To review evidence of positive exercise effects on BMD in early postmenopausal women (0.5-8 years postmenopausal) by summarising existing studies in this area.

MEDLINE search using the terms "exercise" AND "BMD" AND "osteoporosis", later than 1970, plus the bibliographies of the studies identified by the MEDLINE search.
Nine studies were identified and included in this review. All the studies included a non-training control group, half of them were randomised.
Exercise effects on bone mineral density at the hip and the spine were qualitatively compared predominantly based on the type of exercise and study duration. A quantitative analysis was not possible due to the inhomogeneity of the studies.
5 out of 7 studies (6 out of 9 exercising subgroups) demonstrated significant positive exercise effects defined as BMD differences in the exercise versus control group at the lumbar spine, and 3 out of 6 at the proximal femur. Intervention periods of all studies showing no positive results were shorter than nine months. However, only 3 studies showed significant positive BMD changes in the exercise group alone. All of these studies used mixed exercise regimes using high impact exercises and resistance training.
The results suggest that in particular exercise programmes with high impact and resistance training lasting longer than a year help to maintain or even improve BMD at the lumbar spine and hip in early postmenopausal women.

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