Millions of people with osteoporosis should not be afraid to exercise regularly, experts say in recommendations aimed at improving bone health, reducing the risk of falls and improving posture.

The disease, which weakens bones and increases the likelihood of fractures, affects more than 3 million people in the UK and more than 150 million worldwide.

The most common injuries are fractures of the wrist, hip and spine. More than 500,000 people each year receive hospital treatment for fractures in the NHS as a result of osteoporosis.

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So far in the UK there have been no recommendations for exercise and osteoporosis. There are some in the US, Australia and Canada, but even these are incomplete.

Regular exercise strengthens bones, reduces the risk of fractures and falls, improves posture, and strengthens overall mental and physical health, experts say, so it is important that people with osteoporosis do not miss.

But uncertainty about what type of physical activity is safe, especially later in life or when bones are significantly weakened, has left doctors undecided on what to recommend, and has kept some patients from regular activity.

In an attempt to sort out the confusion, a multidisciplinary team of experts reviewed existing evidence and relied on the views of clinicians and patients to agree on guidelines for maximum bone health while minimizing the risk of fractures.

As a result, a consensus statement approved by the Royal Society of Osteoporosis was published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine.

People with the disease should be encouraged to do more, not less, – it says – performing exercises that focus on strengthening muscles two or three days a week and short breaks of moderate exercise, such as jogging, aerobics or zumba . on most days.

And for those who have previously had vertebral fractures or weak / elderly people, it is recommended to include exercise with less load to the level of brisk walking for 20 minutes a day.

The group’s chairman, Don Skelton, a professor of aging and health at the University of Glasgow in Caledonia, said: “Anyone who is new to regular exercise, worried about their technique or doesn’t know how to build their fitness can seek advice from any exercise practitioner . instructor. Those who have a history of falls or serious problems with their balance can contact the local fall service.

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