Objective measures of moderate to vigorous physical activity are associated with higher distal limb bone strength among elderly men

Osteoporotic Fractures in Men (MrOS) Study Group

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4 Scopus citations


Our aim was to determine the association between objectively measured physical activity (PA) and bone strength of the distal limbs among older men. We studied 994 men from the MrOS cohort study (mean age 83.9) who had repeat (Year 7 and 14) 5-day activity assessment with at least 90% wear time (SenseWearPro3 Armband) and Year 14 measures using high resolution peripheral quantitative tomography (HR-pQCT) (Scanco). Total energy expenditure (TEE), total steps per day, peak cadence (mean of top 30 steps/min over 24 h) and time spent in a given level of activity: sedentary (reference, <1.5 metabolic equivalents of task [METs]), light (1.5 to <3 METs), or moderate to vigorous physical activity(MVPA: ≥3 METs) were calculated as mean over the two time points. Estimated failure load was determined from HR-pQCT data using finite element analysis. We used standardized variables and adjusted for potential confounders using linear regression. The means ±SDs for daily activity were: 2338 ± 356 kcal/d [TEE]; 5739 ± 2696 steps/day [step count], 60 ± 20 cpm [peak cadence], 67 ± 28 min/d [light activity], and 85 ± 52 min/d [MVPA]. Higher TEE, step count, and peak cadence were each associated with higher failure load of the distal radius (effect sizes respectively: 0.13 [95% CI: 0.05, 0.20], 0.11 [95% CI: 0.04, 0.18], and 0.08 [95% CI: 0.01, 0.15]) and higher failure load of the distal tibia (effect sizes respectively 0.21 [95% CI: 0.13, 0.28], 0.19 [95% CI: 0.13, 0.26], 0.19 [95% CI, 0.13, 0.25]). Time spent in MVPA vs. time sedentary was related to bone strength at both sites after adjustment, whereas time spent in light activity vs. time sedentary was not. TEE was associated with compartmental area and BMD parameters at distal tibia, but only area parameters at the distal radius. In summary, MVPA over a 7-year period of time may have a modest association with bone strength and geometry among older men.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number115198
StatePublished - Mar 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The Osteoporotic Fractures in Men (MrOS) Study is supported by National Institutes of Health funding. The following institutes provide support: the National Institute on Aging (NIA), the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS), the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS), and NIH Roadmap for Medical Research under the following grant numbers: U01 AG027810 , U01 AG042124 , U01 AG042139 , U01 AG042140 , U01 AG042143 , U01 AG042145 , U01 AG042168 , U01 AR066160 , and UL1 TR000128 . This manuscript is the result of work supported with resources and use of facilities of the Minneapolis VA Health Care System. The contents do not represent the views of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs or the United States Government.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 Elsevier Inc.


  • Bone strength
  • Compartmental BMD
  • Distal limbs
  • Older men
  • Physical activity

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural


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