Early Walking in Toddlers Linked to Stronger Bones
According to a study out of Manchester Metropolitan University and published in the Journal of Bone and Mineral Research, children who start to walk and jump earlier are more likely to have stronger bones later in life. This link has been demonstrated at 18 months of age in children.
The thought behind the study is that these common movements cause stress on the bones causing them to react by becoming wider and thicker – and therefore stronger – at least in relation to those children who may not be moving as much at that age.
One ramification of this study is that it may lead scientists to figure out how to identify who is at a greater risk of osteoporosis and bone fractures later in life.
The findings are intriguing as they provide a link which wasn’t previously understood, primarily that how we move as a young child can have ramifications for our bone strength even 16 years later,” said one researcher. “We believe that stronger muscles could act as a ‘marker’ for this. Being more active give you stronger muscles which can then apply bigger forces to the bones as we walk, run or jump, helping to strengthen bones as we grow older.
The researchers analyzed data from 2,327 participants from a lifelong study. Movement was assessed at 18 months, and hip and shin bone size, shape and mineral density were measured at 17 years of age, for both males and females, by scanning with X-ray absorptiometry and peripheral computed tomography.
Interestingly, the study found that the effect of early childhood movement on bones was more pronounced in males than in females and the researchers suggest that means movement plays less of a role in female bone strength.
So get your toddler walking and moving around so their bones will be strong when they are a teenager.
Razi Berry, Founder and Publisher of Naturopathic Doctor News & Review (ndnr.com) and NaturalPath (thenatpath.com), has spent the last decade as a natural medicine advocate and marketing whiz. She has galvanized and supported the naturopathic community, bringing a higher quality of healthcare to millions of North Americans through her publications. A self-proclaimed health-food junkie and mother of two; she loves all things nature, is obsessed with organic gardening, growing fruit trees (not easy in Phoenix), laughing until she snorts, and homeschooling. She is a little bit crunchy and yes, that is her real name.