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Jumping Improves Hip Bone Mineral Density

By Dr. Susan E. Brown, PhD


Here’s a great reason to jump for joy — new research shows that with only 20 jumps a day, premenopausal women can significantly build hip bone mineral density.  I always encourage women to remember that a small change to your daily routine lead to a big impact in your bone health, and this is a perfect example!

The study followed 60 women ages 25 to 50 who took part in the jumping program. One group of women jumped twice a day, six days a week, and as high as possible for 10 times.  Another group jumped 20 times, with the two groups each resting 30 seconds between jumps.  After 16 weeks, both groups had positive hip bone mineral density changes, while a group of women that did no jumping had a negative change in their hip bone mineral density. 

What’s more, this study is important because it highlights that changes can be made in the hip, one of the most common and dangerous fracture areas. It’s estimated that the number of hip fractures could triple in the United States by the year 2040, according to the study authors.

I do want to note that the jumping in the study was jumping with a lot of force.  I call this power jumping, which is jumping as high as you can, swinging your arms up above your head.  You can land with your feet apart or together.

While jumping is simple, you may want to avoid it if you have severe osteoporosis, a history of fracture, balance problems or other health issues.  Also, keep in mind that this study looked at pre-menopausal women.  Other studies with postmenopausal women have not been so successful, even though they included more jumping.  I suspect that one hundred hops a day or jumps would benefit postmenopausal women, along with better nutrient intake and the alkaline diet, such as found in my Better Bones program.

Tucker, L.A., Strong, J.E., Lechemianant, J.D., Bailey, B.W. (2014) Effect of Two Jumping Programs on Hip Bone Mineral Density in Premenopausal Women: A Randomized Controlled Trial. Am J Health Promot.

You can try Dr. Brown’s comprehensive supplements in her at-home bone health program, developed with Women's Health Network. Get her exclusive formulations along with her detailed lifestyle and diet guidance, plus telephone support whenever you need it. Learn more about the Better Bones programs.

We created the Better Bones blog as our forum to express opinions and educate the public about natural means of supporting and improving bone health and overall wellness. As part of this forum, we sometimes discuss medical issues and medications, and their effects on bone health in general. However, we cannot advise readers about specific medical issues in this forum. If you wish to obtain advice from Susan E. Brown, PhD, about your specific bone health and nutritional concerns, please visit our Consultations page. Other specific medical questions should be referred to your healthcare provider.



June 7. 2014 12:10

Posted on behalf of Renee Newman (If anyone else is having problem posting to the blog, please email us!):

It’s true that jumping and hopping can help maintain and increase bone density. However, this type of exercise can have severe side effects over time—damage to the joints and discs in the spine, even in premenopausal women with normal bone density. The bone gain from jumping can easily be lost when a person with joint problems is unable to exercise adequately or is bedridden with back problems or is prescribed corticosteroids because of their joint pain. I would be very surprised to find an orthopedist who would recommend jumping as a way to maintain bone.

There are safer ways to help maintain hip density: squats, sit-stands, leg lifts and circles (side, front and back in multiple directions with and without weights while standing or laying down), and standing on one foot, which also helps balance. In addition, fast walking is easier on the joints than running.

I volunteer in an orthopedic ward and I’ve seen firsthand that osteoarthritis prevention is just as important as osteoporosis prevention.

Renee Newman,

author of Osteoporosis Prevention: A Proactive Approach to Strong Bones & Good Health.


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