To Your Health
December, 2020 (Vol. 14, Issue 12)
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The Perfect Day for Bone Health

By Editorial Staff

Bone health is critical as we age to reduce the risk of osteoporosis and related fractures (particularly hip fractures), which can be deadly in seniors. But the seeds of bone health need to be planted and nourished much earlier in life.

In fact, promoting bone health in children has been shown to correlate with bone health in adulthood.

OK, so we know bone health is important, and that it matters even when we're young - but what's the best way to promote bone health in our kids? Since exercise plays an important role, let's look to how (and how much) children should exercise every day to build strong, healthy bones that carry them from adolescence to adulthood – and how much they should not exercise, since too much of just about anything can be a bad thing. In other words, what should the child's average day look like to promote bone health?

According to a new study published in the Journal of Bone and Mineral Research, here's what the "perfect day" for bone health should look like if you're a kid:

  • bone health - Copyright – Stock Photo / Register Mark 1.5 hours of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (sports, running, etc.)
  • 3.4 hours of light physical activity (walking, chores, etc.)
  • 8.2 hours of sedentary time (sitting in school, studying, reading, etc.)
  • 10.9 hours of sleep

The study authors refer to their findings as the "Goldilocks Day" – the perfect amount of exercise, sedentary time and sleep to build strong bones; and note that since up to 90 percent of peak bone mass is achieved by young adulthood (ages 18-20), promoting bone health in childhood is absolutely essential. Talk to your doctor for more information.