Feature Article

Exercise and osteoporotic fracture prevention. Part 1: the role of exercise

Maria A Fiatarone Singh



A combination of exercise, adequate nutrition and, when required, pharmacotherapy offers the best approach to optimal bone health and osteoporotic fracture prevention.

Key Points

  • Osteoporotic fracture is a multifactorial problem requiring a holistic approach to prevention for optimal efficacy and safety.
  • Targeted exercise addresses many of the risk factors for osteoporotic fracture, including osteopenia, muscle wasting and weakness, falls, poor balance, depression, use of medications for depression and insomnia, sedentariness, fear of falling, mobility impairment and disability.
  • Concurrent management of fracture risk with a physical activity prescription, adequate nutrition and pharmacotherapy for osteoporosis when required offers the best approach to optimal bone health.
  • The important elements of the exercise prescription for bone health include high intensity progressive resistance exercise (weight lifting), progressive balance training, moderate to high intensity weight-bearing aerobic exercise and, when feasible, high impact exercise.