Housework protects against broken bones - according to the study

Housework protects against broken bones - according to the study

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Protection from fractures through housework and walks?

According to a recent study, if women do light physical activity, such as sweeping or wiping around the house, this reduces their general risk of fractures. After menopause, such activities protect especially against hip fractures.

A recent study by The State University of New York, Buffalo found that simple housework can protect women from fractures. The results of the study were published in the English language journal "JAMA Network Open".

Light physical activity after menopause protects against fractures

The study provides the most complete overview of the relationship between fractures, exercise, and activity in older women. The results show that even light physical activity reduces the risk of post-menopausal fractures. According to the researchers, this would result in reduced dependency, an improvement in physical activity and a reduced risk of premature death, since it is not uncommon for older women to die from complications after a hip fracture.

Fractures in old age are common

For the study, the data from 77,206 women aged 50 to 79 years were analyzed. The average age of women was 63 years. During this period, approximately one third of women (33.1 percent) experienced at least one fracture.

Different forms of physical activity have been studied

Separate forms of physical activity were examined for the study, which included, for example, leisure activities, activities at home and exercise on foot. The time spent sitting was also taken into account. The women reported on their level of activity as well as the duration and number of weekly activities. Leisure activities were divided into mild, moderate and strenuous depending on the load.

Risk of fractures of the hip, wrist and forearm was analyzed

The researchers classified the women according to the extent of their movement. They looked at the relationships between different levels of activity with the risk of hip fracture, as well as fractures on the wrist or forearm. They also examined the relationship between sitting times and fractures.

Activity protects against fractures

When women spent an average of about 35 minutes of household or leisure activity each day, it reduced the risk of hip fracture by 18 percent compared to the least active women. The general risk of fractures was reduced by six percent. Women who walked most often had a 12 percent lower risk of hip fracture, while the next lower category saw an eight percent decrease.

Disadvantages from physical activity?

However, the most physically active women had a 26 percent increased risk of knee fractures. Moderate to heavy activity increased the risk of wrist or forearm fracture by nine percent. "In older women, higher physical activity was associated with a lower overall and hip fracture risk, but a higher knee fracture risk," the researchers conclude.

Women should sit less and move more

When women spent more than 9.5 hours a day sitting or lying down, both the general risk of fracture and the risk of spinal fractures increased significantly compared to those who sat less than 6.5 hours a day. The study makes it clear that older women should sit less and exercise more. Even walks and housework or gardening can reduce the risk of breakage. (as)

Author and source information

This text corresponds to the requirements of the medical literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been checked by medical doctors.


  • Michael J. LaMonte, Jean Wactawski-Wende, Joseph C. Larson, Xiaodan Mai, John A. Robbins et al .: Association of Physical Activity and Fracture Risk Among Postmenopausal Women, in JAMA Network Open (query: 07.11.2019), JAMA Network Open

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