A new research study published in The Korean Journal of Sport shows that bouncing on a trampoline fights osteoporosis by significantly improving bone mineral density (BMD). Though many studies over the years have shown that bouncing is good for bones, this is one of the most definitive.
The participants of the study were all women, with an average age of 45, and none had been exercising regularly for at least six months. In other words, the researchers chose a demographic with the most to gain from a successful bone-building strategy. Though both men and women are at risk of developing osteoporosis, it occurs more frequently with women: for people over 50, 1 in 3 women will experience osteoporotic fractures in their lifetime compared to just 1 in 5 men.
To measure bone mineral density, the researchers used a non-invasive procedure called “Dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry,” or “DXA.” They took density readings from four lumbar vertebrae in the back and two locations from the upper leg bone, where the femur meets the hip. All of the bones measured showed significant increases in mineral density as a result of the trampoline program.
Along with increased bone strength, the bouncing program resulted in big improvements in overall fitness from a relatively small amount of exercise, which is something that other rebounding studies have also noted. Participants performed four exercise sessions per week, each consisting of a 30-minute bouncing workout, ten minutes of stretching, and a few minutes of light exercises for warming-up and cooing-down. Altogether, the program generated a weekly total of about 150 minutes of moderate-intensity cardiovascular exercise, which is the minimum recommended by worldwide health organizations for adults. In spite the modest schedule, there were improvements in “body weight, BMI [body fat percentage], blood pressure, heart rate and muscle mass after trampoline exercise.”
The researchers conclude their study by saying, “Based on the results, we intend to promote trampoline exercise, which is still generally unknown.”
Hopefully, as people become aware of the research behind it, more people will start enjoying the truly exceptional and diverse benefits of rebounding exercise.