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A Benefit of Jogging

July 23, 2001|Associated Press

WASHINGTON — 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.

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