Aging is characterised by a loss of muscle (mass, strength, power, flexibility), balance and impaired motor control. This may lead to further disorders affecting daily life performances and increasing fear of falling. The latter in its turn can imply less movement, less physical function and again higher risk of falling through a vicious circle which negatively affects the quality of life and increases morbidity as well as mortality.
Older women suffering from osteoporosis and osteopenia are particularly at stake with high risks of fractures. Physical activity is one of the key preventative tools for these conditions, especially exercises involving high-impacts on the skeleton as they have shown benefits in bone modeling, remodeling and maintaining mineralisation. There is no consensus on an optimal physical activity programme to reduce the effects of osteoporosis and osteopenia. Clinicians usually use combination of techniques to improve strength, balance, functional control, gait speed or fear of falling.
In this study, the authors specifically investigated the effects of a combined balance, strength and jumping exercise programme on a mini-trampoline on these various aspects of health and the metabolism of bone mineral density in older women with osteopenia. They concluded that such an intervention seems to be highly effective in improving the above parameters in this population.