Hop your way to reduced risk of hip problems

By Rebecca Burton • Published: December 17th, 2015
Category: Health in a Heartbeat

Research shows that by 2050, the incidence of hip fractures is expected to grow by 310 percent in men and 240 percent in women. As the population grows older, more people will be susceptible to this problem because as adults age their bones become thinner, especially in the hip, leading to a higher risk of hip fracture.

Worldwide, women are more likely to suffer from these fractures, but men have higher rates of death related to these types of hip injuries.

A study published in the Journal of Bone and Mineral Research found that hopping for two minutes a day can help slow bone aging. The researchers asked 34 men over the age of 65 to hop on one foot for two minutes a day for one year. The participants were screened and taught how to build up to the hopping exercises incrementally. They were asked to hop on the same foot the entire year so the other side of their body could be used as a comparison.

Results showed that hopping every day spurred close to a 7 percent increase in bone mass throughout the hip’s outer shell or cortex and increased the density of the spongy bone layer under the outer shell.

The strengthening effects were also seen in the thinnest areas of the hip bone, which are more prone to fracture from a fall.

The authors warn that because the study was conducted on men only, the results may not be the same for women. They also note that none of the men studied had been diagnosed with osteoporosis, so they cannot say whether hopping would be safe for those who have this condition. Further research should examine women and those diagnosed with osteoporosis.

Researchers hope this new type of “hip hop” will help reduce the effects of osteoporosis, a disease that leads to almost 9 million fractures around the world annually.