Teens who stay fit with vigorous activity are laying the foundation for a lifetime of bone health. Study findings in JAMA Network Open  (2020; 3 [8], 2013463) show that teens who were moderately to vigorously active at ages 12–16 had higher bone mineral density in the hip bone at 25 than teens who participated in only light-intensity exercise. Peak bone mass occurs in young adulthood and is a risk marker of fractures and osteoporosis in later life.

University of Bristol researchers in England analyzed data from 2,569 young people who underwent accelerometer assessments at 12, 14, 16 and/or 25 years of age, followed up by four repeat assessments. Lead study author Ahmad Elhakeem, PhD, senior research associate in epidemiology, said, “The results highlight adolescence as a potentially important period for bone development . . . it is really important to support young people to remain active at this age.”

See also: Having the Bone Health Talk With Clients