In Australia there are over 165,000 broken bones each year from poor bone health. Staying active and independent requires healthy bones. Greg Lyubomirsky, CEO of Osteoporosis Australia says “Bone health is an important part of general health so we encourage everyone to take their bone health seriously and take simple steps to protect your bones.”
Calcium. Vitamin D. Exercise.
There are 3 simple steps you can take to help support your bone health:
- Calcium in your daily diet: Recommended daily intake for adults is 1,000 mg per day. This increases to 1,300 mg per day for women over 50 years and men over 70 years.
Tip: Calcium in food varies so include foods higher in calcium in your daily diet.
- Adequate vitamin D levels: Vitamin D is important for absorbing calcium. In Australia sun exposure is generally the best source of vitamin D and only requires a few minutes most days, while avoiding skin damage.
Tip: For people with low or deficient vitamin D, a supplement may be recommended as directed by a doctor.
- Exercise: Bones like some stress placed upon them. Research has shown that particular types of exercise are best for bones. A combination of weight bearing sport (such as netball, tennis, basketball, jogging) and resistance exercise (with gym equipment) are recommended.
Know Your Bones
An easy way to check your bone health is using the online self-assessment tool Know Your Bones. The website was developed by Osteoporosis Australia and the Garvan Institute of Medical Research. Know Your Bones is based on key findings from Garvans long running study of osteoporosis in Australia.
Research has shown particular risk factors can impact your bone health, such as certain medical conditions or medications which can increase the risk of poor bone health or a family history of osteoporosis and certain lifestyle factors. Know Your Bones is an easy way to review your bone health and understand any risk factors which may be impacting your bone health. Visit www.knowyourbones.org.au to complete the self assessment.
Have you or anyone you know broken a bone and dismissed it as unlucky?
It is common to hear a story from friends or family about someone who tripped and broke a bone. Maybe it was a wrist, an ankle or an arm. What people tend to dismiss as an unlucky accident may in fact be a sign of underlying poor bone health.
Greg says “anyone over 50 years who breaks a bone from a minor incident or fall should be routinely investigated for osteoporosis.” Greg says in these circumstances we need to check why that broken bone occurred.
Early diagnosis of osteoporosis or low bone density means action can be taken to protect your bones and to manage your bone health and reduce the risk of fractures. Talk to your doctor if you have any risk factors for poor bone health.
For more information visit www.knowyourbones.org.au