This infographic tells the frightening story that there are 8.9 million fractures caused by osteoporosis every year. But did you know that 95% of fractures are due to everyday falls? This means avoiding falling is very important.
How do you do that? With exercise! Studies show that those who exercise regularly fall less. This makes sense as strong and developed muscles and tendons are the underpinning that keeps your body erect. If something pushes you off balance, your body signals your muscles and tendons and ligaments to correct it. It’s very much the same how a building is designed to withstand an earthquake by including strong and flexible materials in the construction. These materials do a parallel function to your muscles and ligaments.
Also the research confirms that in the event of a fall, those who exercise regularly fracture less than those who don’t exercise! This also makes intuitive sense because strong muscles and ligaments allow your body to react quicker, possibly enabling you to grab a handrail and brace a fall even by a little bit. And muscle adds a layer of cushion between the hard ground and your bones. This difference between the fit and less fit results in less hospital visits for those who take the time to work out.
Osteoporosis is something you can have and not even know – because you can’t feel that you have porous hollow bones. But it is known as ‘the silent killer’ because it sneaks up on its victims without warning. You don’t know you have it – usually until you break a bone too easily. It’s not the porous bones that makes is deadly. It’s the lifestyle change that a fracture induces that is the problem. It interrupts one’s regular routine and not in a good way. It’s crucial for older people to remain active – yet an osteoporotic fracture (which is often of the hip) puts a quick stop to that. Months of being confined to bed is a radical change that lowers your immune system, leaving you prone to very dangerous health complications such as pneumonia and deep vein thrombosis. It’s this downward health snowball effect that statistically results in a mortality rate of 13.5% within 6 months from osteoporotic fractures!