Bone Mineral Density in Weight-Bearing and Nonweight-Bearing Female Athletes

in Pediatric Exercise Science
Restricted access

Bone mineral density (BMD) development and maintenance is enhanced with weight-bearing exercise, while bed rest and zero gravity results in BMD loss. The purpose of this study is to determine if BMD is significantly different in female athletes engaged in weight-bearing versus nonweight-bearing sports. Six BMD sites and anthropometric measurements were assessed at 3 equal intervals utilizing 2-way ANOVA’s. Controlling for body-weight, differences in BMD were investigated utilizing ANCOVA. Pearson and Spearman Rank Correlations were utilized to investigate interrelationships between anthropometric, VO2max, and BMD measurements. Swimmers were taller and heavier with greater percent, body fat. BMD was significantly different between runners and swimmers only at the distal, which was higher for swimmers at 6 months. There was no difference in radial BMD when utilizing ANCOVA, with weight serving as the covariate. Swimming does not appear to be a contraindicated activity for BMD accrual and maintenance.

K.M. Rourke is with the Center for Health Related Programs at the University of Cincinnati, P.O. Box 210038, Cincinnati, OH 45221-0038.