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Assessment of physical activity in clinical bone studies is essential. Two bone-specific physical activity scoring methods, the Bone Loading History Questionnaire (BLHQ) and Bone-Specific Physical Activity Questionnaire (BPAQ), have shown correlations with bone density and geometry, but not architecture. The purpose of this study was to determine relationships between physical activity scoring methods and bone architecture in non-Hispanic white adolescent females (N = 24; 18-19 years of age). Bone loading scores (BLHQ [hip and spine] and past BPAQ) and energy expenditure (7-day physical activity recall) were determined from respective questionnaires. Estimates of trabecular and cortical bone architecture at the nondominant radius and tibia were assessed via magnetic resonance imaging. Total body and regional areal bone mineral density (aBMD), as well as total body fat mass and fat-free soft tissue (FFST) mass were assessed via dual energy X-ray absorptiometry. Pearson’s correlations and partial correlations adjusting for height, total body fat mass, and FFST were performed. Hip BLHQ scores were correlated with midtibia cortical volume (r = .43; p = .03). Adjusted hip and spine BLHQ scores were correlated with all midtibia cortical measures (r = .50-0.58; p < .05) and distal radius apparent trabecular number (r = .46-0.53; p < .05). BPAQ scores were correlated with all midtibia cortical (r = .41-0.51; p < .05) and most aBMD (r = .47-0.53; p < .05) measures. Energy expenditure was inversely associated with femoral neck aBMD only after statistical adjustment (r = .49, p < .05). These data show that greater load-specific physical activity scores, but not energy expenditure, are indicative of greater midtibia cortical bone quality, thus supporting the utility of these instruments in musculoskeletal research.

Kindler, Ross, Laing, Baile, and Lewis are with the Dept. of Foods and Nutrition, The University of Georgia, Athens, GA. Modlesky is with the Dept. of Kinesiology and Applied Physiology, University of Delaware, Newark, DE. Pollock is with the Dept. of Pediatrics, Georgia Regents University, Augusta, GA.

Address author correspondence to Richard D. Lewis at rlewis@fcs.uga.edu.