Exercise for the prevention of osteoporosis in postmenopausal women: an evidence-based guide to the optimal prescription
Abstract Background Osteoporosis and related fragility fractures are a global public health problem in which pharmaceutical agents targeting bone mineral density (BMD) are the first line of treatment. However, pharmaceuticals have no effect on improving other key fracture risk factors, including low muscle strength, power and functional capacity, all of which are associated with an increased risk for falls and fracture, independent of BMD. Targeted exercise training is the only strategy that can simultaneously improve multiple skeletal and fall-related risk factors, but it must be appropriately prescribed and tailored to the desired outcome(s) and the specified target group. Objectives In this review, we provide an overview of the general principles of training and specific loading characteristics underlying current exercise guidelines for the prevention of osteoporosis, and an update on the latest scientific evidence with regard to the type and dose of exercise shown to positively influence bone mass, structure and strength and reduce fracture risk in postmenopausal women.