Daily physical movement and bone mineral density among a mixed racial cohort of women

Linda S. Pescatello, Donna M. Murphy, Daren Anderson, Dino Costanzo, Latha Dulipsingh, Mary Jane De Souza

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Purpose: The impact of lifestyle physical activity on bone mineral density (BMD) is unclear. We examined the influence of physical activities typical of everyday life on BMD among 151 women (52.0 ± 0.9 yr). These women were of low socioeconomic status, and 57.6% were Hispanic, 17.2% black, and 24.5% white. Methods: BMD was measured at the calcaneus by ultrasound with a Hologic Sahara sonometer. We measured physical activity with two questions from the Yale Physical Activity Survey that assessed h·d-1 spent in motion typical of the past month and number of flights of stairs climbed up daily. Multivariate ANCOVA adjusted for adiposity and nutrients and medications known to influence BMD determined whether BMD differed between categories of physical activity (<2 vs ≥2 flights·d-1 and <7 vs ≥7 h·d1), menopausal status (pre- vs post-), and ethnic group (white vs nonwhite). Results: Among the premenopausal women (N = 63, 43.2 ± 0.9 yr), adjusted mean calcaneal BMD and BMD T-score were similar between categories of stair climbing and accumulated daily movement regardless of ethnic origin (P > 0.05). Among the postmenopausal women (N = 88, 58.1 ± 1.0 yr), adjusted mean calcaneal BMD (0.561 ± 0.019 g·cm-2 vs 0.503 ± 0.016) (P = 0.022) and BMD T-score (-0.172 ± 0.166 vs -0.695 ± 0.143) (P = 0.020) were higher with more flights of stairs climbed daily in the Hispanic and black women only. Similarly, calcaneal BMD (0.579 ± 0.023 g·cm-2 vs 0.505 ± 0.014) (P = 0.010) and BMD T-score (-0.020 ± 0.209 vs -0.678 ± 0.129) (P = 0.010) were higher with greater amounts of daily movement in only the older Hispanic and black women. Conclusion: Lifestyle physical activity positively impacted BMD indicators in a mixed racial cohort of postmenopausal women. Older Hispanic and black women should be encouraged to engage in physical activities typical of everyday life to attenuate age-related bone loss.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1966-1970
Number of pages5
JournalMedicine and science in sports and exercise
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 1 2002

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation


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