Two minutes of hopping a day can significantly reduce the risk of bone fractures after a fall, a Loughborough University-led study has found.
The 'Hip Hop study' measured the effect of daily hopping exercises in 34 men aged over 65, and showed that bone density in the leg used for hopping improved after one year.
Increases of up to 7% were identified in the bone mass of some parts of the leg but it also showed that there were improvements in the thinnest areas of the bone most at risk of fracture after a fall.
Bones thin naturally with age, and localised thinning in the hip is associated with an increased risk of hip fracture. The Hip Hop study has shown regular exercise can help counteract the effects of ageing to the bone.
Hopping was selected over jumping to ensure comparisons could be made between legs, with participants performing a series of daily exercises.
CT scans, taken at University Hospitals Leicester, were analysed by a novel bone mapping technique developed at the University of Cambridge and showed clear visual differences between the exercise and control legs.
Osteoporosis affects an estimated three million people in the UK.