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Women & Osteoporosis

Working women should know how important their bone health is.

50% of women over the age of 50 will break a bone because of Osteoporosis.

Importantly, women can help keep their bones healthy and build strong bones long before any sign of Osteoporosis occurs. This article covers a few tips on healthy workplace habits and a brief overview of Osteoporosis.

What Is Osteoporosis?

To put it simply, Osteoporosis is a bone disease where the bones are not as strong as they should be. This loss of strength is most often caused by a loss of bone itself (which is natural as we age) and damage to the structure of the bone which can then lead to broken bones.

 

Osteoporosis Is Very Common. Especially For Women.

According to the National Osteoporosis Foundation, as many as 50% of women over the age of 50 will break a bone in their lifetime because of Osteoporosis. This figure is 25% for males over the age of 50. In the United States alone, the number affected by Osteoporosis is as high as 54 million individuals. (1)

Sitting Too Much Is Enemy #1

In a typical office, it’s common to find yourself sitting and inactive for a large part of the day. According to the World Health Organization a sedentary lifestyle increases “all causes of mortality” from Diabetes, Colon Cancer, to Osteoporosis. (3) Additionally, sitting places more pressure on your spine and your back and neck muscles than standing leading to more wear and tear.(4)

In order to alleviate some of the pressure on your back and improve your bone health try the following tips:

  • Get Up & Stretch: It’s easy to be glued to your chair for hours at a time. Fight the temptation. Get up to stretch, visit your coworker down the hall, or even take a 5 minute walk to get your body moving and strengthening your skeleton system.
  • Get A Standing Desk: A brief Amazon search will yield some relatively cost effective desks better for your bone health. Oftentimes, these desks have adjustable heights so you can move in between standing and sitting for maximum comfort.
  • Exercise Before Or After Work: Exercise truly is one of nature’s greatest medicines. Exercise will help strengthen your bones because of the increased stress and will help lubricate your joints to keep your skeletal system functioning smoothly.(2)

Nutrition To The Rescue ... Or Not

Nutrition is a key component for healthy bones. The cells of your body use calcium, vitamin D, vitamin K, potassium, and other nutrients from the foods you eat to replenish your bones and keep them strong. As the ancient Greek Philosopher Hippocrates once said, “All diseases begin in the gut.” The foods you eat can either help you or hurt you. Having a diet rich with foods in calcium is a great place to start.

Here are a few examples of non-dairy foods high in calcium: (5)

  • Soybeans
  • Chia Seeds
  • Lentils
  • Almonds
  • Dark Green Leafy Vegetables

These are just a few tips for wise women looking to reduce the impact of working in an office for their current and future health.

References

  1. https://www.nof.org/patients/what-is-osteoporosis/
  2. https://www.bones.nih.gov/health-info/bone/bone-health/exercise/exercise-your-bone-health
  3. https://www.who.int/mediacentre/news/releases/release23/en/
  4. https://www.spineuniverse.com/wellness/ergonomics/sitting-disease-its-impact-your-spine
  5. https://www.eatright.org/health/wellness/preventing-illness/understanding-osteoporosis

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