British researchers say just one minute of high-intensity, weight-bearing physical activity per day could improve bone health for women.
The study found that running at a medium pace for premenopausal women, and a slow-paced jog for postmenopausal women is enough to improve bone strength and density and help reduce the risk of osteoporosis.
The findings were published in the International Journal of Epidemiology.
Osteoporosis, which affects nearly 1 million Australians, occurs when new bone fails to generate at the rate of old bone.
This causes holes and spaces to appear. When coupled with low bone density, it makes bones more prone to fractures and breaks.
Post-menopausal women are particularly at risk of osteoporosis due to changing hormone levels.
While experts recommend a diet high in calcium and Vitamin D to help build bone density, there is hope the findings from the new study could offer a simple addition to help fight the disease.
Study lead author Dr Victoria Stiles, a senior lecturer in Sport and Health Sciences at the University of Exeter, told Medical New Today there is a clear link between exercise and bone health.
“We don’t yet know whether it’s better to accumulate this small amount of exercise in bits throughout each day or all at once, and also whether a slightly longer bout of exercise on 1 or 2 days per week is just as good as 1-2 minutes a day,” she said.
“But there’s a clear link between this kind of high-intensity, weight-bearing exercise and better bone health in women.”