Archives of Osteoporosis
School of Medical and Health Sciences / Institute for Nutrition Research
Summary: Ground impacts during physical activity may be important for peak bone mass. We found differences in how energy expenditure and impact scores estimated from a physical activity questionnaire related to bone health in young adults. Using both estimate types can improve our understanding of the skeletal benefits of physical activity. Purpose: It is unclear whether mechanical loading during physical activity, estimated from physical activity questionnaires which assess metabolic equivalents of task (METs), is associated with skeletal health. This longitudinal study investigated how physical activity loading scores, assessed at ages 17 and 20 years, (a) compares with physical activity measured in METs, and (b) is associated with bone mass at age 20 years. Methods: A total of 826 participants from the Raine Study Gen2 were assessed for physical activity energy expenditure via the International Physical Activity Questionnaire (IPAQ) at age 17 and 20 years. Loading scores (the product of peak force and application rate) per week were subsequently estimated from the IPAQ. Whole-body and appendicular bone mineral density (BMD) at age 20 years were assessed by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry. Results: Bland–Altman minimal detectable difference for physical activity Z- scores at age 17 and 20 years were 1.59 standard deviations (SDs) and 1.33 SDs, respectively, greater than the a priori minimal clinically important change of 0.5 SDs. Loading score, but not IPAQ score, had significant positive associations with whole-body and leg BMD after adjustment for covariates (β = 0.008 and 0.012 g/cm2, respectively, for age 17 and 20 years loading scores). IPAQ score at age 20 years, but not loading score, had a significant positive association with arm BMD (β = 0.007 g/cm2). Conclusion: This study revealed disagreement in associations of self-reported METs and loading score estimates with bone health in young adults. Coupling traditional energy expenditure questionnaire outcomes with bone-loading estimates may improve understanding of the location-specific skeletal benefits of physical activity in young adults.
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