This 2007 article from Medical News Today, Impact Sports Increase Bone Strength In Senior Athletes, reports on a study conducted on 298 athletes at the 2005 Senior Olympics in Pittsburgh. Findings were reported at the 74th Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons.
The study used a health-history questionnaire and ultrasound Bone Mass Density scans to measure the athlete’s bone density and correct for statistical factors. The findings indicate that participation in impact sports such as running and basketball – as opposed to low-impact sports like cycling and swimming – are a significant factor in maintaining good bone health. Athletes ranged in age from 50 to 93.
This finding supports other studies which show that lifting heavy weights, as in Olympic-style lifting, increase bone density. Bone tissue is not static – it is living tissue that is constantly growing and resorbing into the body, even as we age.
All of this points to the need to include activities and work-out routines that apply the proper kind of stress to our bones in order to remain healthy, particularly if you engage in a sport like motocross that occasionally tosses you to the ground in an uncomplimentary fashion. So for all of you VMX enthusiasts out there, find time to hit the weight room or the basketball court on a regular basis and reduce the chances or wearing a cast for six weeks next time you take a soil sample.