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ENGLEMED HEALTH NEWS - 24/12/08

Sports last a life-time

Wednesday December 24th, 2008

Rugby, tennis and athletics may all play a key role in ensuring girl teenagers have healthy bones, researchers report today.

The benefits of teenage sport last well into old age, according to a new study.

Researchers found that women who took part in high impact sports and weight-bearing exercise had much stronger bones in later life than others.

The findings, reported in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, come from a study of some 48 Japanese women.

Some 18 of the women had taken part in athletics or sports such as tennis and volleyball in their youth - undertaking running and jumping.

The other 30 had been swimmers or had done little sport.

Dr Takeru Kato, of the Suzuka University of Medical Science, Japan, was able to study the women's bones.

He found no difference in bone density between the two groups - but found that those who took part in impact sports had much more mineral content in the spine and thigh bone.

Dr Kato writes: "None of those with the strongest bones were doing any weight bearing exercise at the time of the study, suggesting that the benefits of this type of exercise during adolescence last for over 40 years."

Br J Sports Med 2008; doi 10.1136/bjsm.2008.052308

Tags: Asia | Fitness

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