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11 March 2010 | PR 10/46

New research study aims to strengthen hip bones in older men


Murray Sinclair aged 68 years demonstrating the hopping exercise

Researchers at Loughborough University are starting a major research study to discover whether exercise can add bone at locations it is most needed to reduce the risk of osteoporotic fractures.

Osteoporosis will eventually affect one in every five older men - and one in every two older women - meaning that bones become brittle and fracture more easily, with hip fractures causing particular problems.

A team from the University’s School of Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences (SSEHS) has found that by undertaking specific exercise for just a couple of minutes each day, bone density of the hip can be increased.

In this new study, researchers are collaborating with University Hospitals Leicester (UHL) to discover whether similar exercises can affect bone shape as well as bone density.

“Exercise can produce small increases in bone density but seems to have larger effects on bone strength,” explained lead researcher Dr Katherine Brooke-Wavell. “This may be because exercise affects bone shape as well as bone density.

“This collaborative research will allow us to do an extra bone scan to measure the bone shape at the hip and find out whether exercise can affect the regions of bone that are particularly important for preventing fractures”.

Previous research in this area has focussed on women, so Loughborough researchers are looking forward to gauging the impact of exercise on older men. 20 men, including Murray Sinclair (pictured) have already taken part in a study that has helped to adapt the exercises for this group. 

“We are very grateful to the men from around Loughborough who have already taken part in the research which has helped us to develop a suitable set of exercises,” added Sarah Allison, who is co-ordinating the study.

“We are now looking for an additional 50 men aged 65-80 years old who would be willing to take up the exercise and have bone scans and measurements of their muscle function.” 

Anyone interested in taking part in the research can contact Dr Katherine Brooke-Wavell (k.s.f.brooke-wavell@lboro.ac.uk) on 01509 222749 or Sarah Allison (s.allison@lboro.ac.uk) on 01509 228154.


For all media enquiries contact:

Amanda Overend
Senior PR Officer
Loughborough University
T: 01509 228686
E: A.J.Overend@lboro.ac.uk 

Notes for editors:

Loughborough is one of the country’s leading universities, with an international reputation for research that matters, excellence in teaching, strong links with industry, and unrivalled achievement in sport and its underpinning academic disciplines

It was awarded the coveted Sunday Times University of the Year 2008-09 title, and is consistently ranked in the top twenty of UK universities in national newspaper league tables. In the 2009 National Student Survey, Loughborough was voted one of the top five universities in the UK, and has topped the Times Higher Education league for the UK’s Best Student Experience every year since the poll's inception in 2006. In recognition of its contribution to the sector, the University has been awarded six Queen's Anniversary Prizes.

Loughborough is also the UK’s premier university for sport. It has perhaps the best integrated sports development environment in the world and is home to some of the country’s leading coaches, sports scientists and support staff. It also has the country’s largest concentration of world-class training facilities across a wide range of sports.

It is a member of the 1994 Group of 19 leading research-intensive universities. The Group was established in 1994 to promote excellence in university research and teaching. Each member undertakes diverse and high-quality research, while ensuring excellent levels of teaching and student experience.

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