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Stronger muscles = healthier bones in children!

Posted:  Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Now there are some added reasons to push your child to be physically active. Researchers from University of Southampton found that higher muscle mass could be strongly linked to healthier bone development in children. Additionally, they found no relationship between fat mass and bone health.

The results of the study were reported in the journal Bone. For the study, the researchers measured body composition, bone mineral density (BMD) and shape and size of the tibia of 200 children from the Southampton Women's Survey at 2 time points: right after birth and at 6-7 years of age.

The researchers mapped the bone strength and size because they are long-term risk factors for osteoporosis and fractures in the future. "A ten per cent increase in peak bone mass will delay the onset of osteoporosis by 13 years. These findings point to the importance of early childhood physical activity to optimise muscle and bone growth," said the researchers.

Additionally, the researchers found the link between changes in lean muscle and bone development to be stronger in girls compared with boys even after ruling out puberty as a causal factor. Thus, it would indeed be a good idea to promote physical activity in children to help keep their bones healthy.

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