Flower Power

Research shows gardening helps prevent osteoporosis

06-01-2005 // NWF Staff

More effective than jogging, swimming, walking or aerobics, working in the yard at least once a week is the best activity to protect against osteoporosis, says Lori Turner, associate professor of health sciences at the University of Arkansas. She recently arrived at that conclusion after studying data on 3,310 women ages 50 and older. While researchers have long known that weight-bearing exercise is the most important category of activity to maintain bone density, this study is the first to determine which specific activity is most effective. "We hadn't expected yard work to be significant," Turner says. "It's taken for such a dainty activity. But there's a lot of weight-bearing motion going on in the garden—digging holes, pulling weeds, pushing a mower."

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