Physical activity is known to influence bone health, and based on a Spanish study, girls who involve themselves in team ball sports such as basketball, football and handball at a young age, help to strengthen their bones during adulthood and thus preventing osteoporosis.
Osteoporosis – a loss of bone resistance which predisposes the sufferer to fractures – affects especially women from menopause onwards (specifically after the age of 50). It can affect men too.
Researchers at the University of Castilla-La Mancha in Spain have conducted a study on 200 girls between the age of 9 and 13. The girls were divided into 5 groups according to the sport they practiced. Each of these groups consisted of two sub-categories – before and during puberty.
They discovered that sports with a high osteogenic effect (relating to bone tissue formation) when practised at a young age, will ensure a greater bone strength than other sports with a low osteogenic effect such as swimming.
Researchers also discovered that those who spent no more than 2 hours of sport a week did not do enough to enable bone strengthening.
This finding is useful in preventing bone disease in adulthood.