Contributions of exercise, body composition, and age to bone mineral density in premenopausal women

Lee Alekel, Jody L. Clasey, Patricia C. Fehling, Ronald M. Weigel, Richard A. Boileau, John W. Erdman, Rachel Stillman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations


The purposes of this cross-sectional study were to determine whether exercisers have greater bone mineral density (BMD) than nonexercisers, whether aerobic dancers have greater BMD than walkers, and to determine the contributions of energy expenditure, body composition, and dietary factors to spine and femur BMD. Measurements were obtained on 93 eumenorrheic women (walkers, N = 28; aerobic dancers, N = 34; nonexercisers, N = 31) ages 25-41 yr: lumbar spine and proximal femur BMD, body composition, physical activity, and nutrient intakes. Mean height, weight, and body mass index and median age and calcium intakes were similar for the three groups. Mean (±SD) values of the spine, total femur, and femoral neck BMD, respectively, were: walkers (1.092(±0.098), 0.947(±0.095), 0.868(±0.095) g•cm−2), dancers (1.070(±0.124), 0.990(±0.104), 0.908(±0.106) g•cm−2), and nonexercisers (1.020(±0.112), 0.887(±0.073), 0.792(±0.089) g•cm−2). Multiple regression analyses indicated that exercise contributed to spine (P = 0.018), total femur (P = 0.012), and femoral neck (P < 0.0001) BMD, whereas type of exercise (aerobic dance vs walking) did not (P >0.05). Total femoral BMD was influenced by exercise (P = 0.012) and energy expenditure (P = 0.023), while vertebral BMD was influenced by age (P = 0.0067), body weight (P = 0.017), and exercise (P = 0.018). These findings suggest that walking and aerobic dance exercise may provide physically active premenopausal women with greater lumbar and femoral BMD than sedentary females.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1477-1485
Number of pages9
JournalMedicine and Science in Sports and Exercise
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 1995

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation


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