Young men who jog regularly build strong bones and may reduce their susceptibility to the brittle bone disease osteoporosis, a new study finds.
Researchers reported in the July issue of the American Journal of Public Health that men in their 30s who jog at least nine times a month develop a bone density that is at least 5% higher than that of men who jog less.
Compared with men who do little or no exercise, the bone density of joggers was almost 8% better, said the study's first author, Michael E. Mussolino, a researcher at the National Center for Health Statistics, part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
To gather the data, the researchers analyzed answers to questions in a health survey of 4,254 men, including 954 joggers and 3,300 who did not jog.
The study included results of hip bone X-rays taken of each man to determine bone density. The researchers compared the findings from joggers with results from non-joggers.
"The men who were jogging nine times a month were doing much better than those who were jogging only one to eight times a month," said Mussolino. "Even those who jogged eight or fewer times a month had a higher bone density than those who did not jog at all."
Mussolino said the study shows that it does not require marathon-like running to build strong bones.
Osteoporosis, most common in women past menopause, is not uncommon in men.