Improve bone health with regular exercise and safe sun exposure

Regular physical activity is important for building bone strength in teenagers and reducing bone loss in adults. Exercising regularly will help to maintain and improve muscle strength. Weight-bearing exercise like jogging, aerobics, tennis, dancing, golf or netball are recommended. Lifting weights (resistance training) is another great way to maintain strong bones. Swimming and cycling are not weight-bearing exercises but they are good for muscle strength.

Good muscle strength becomes increasingly important for bone health as people age. Many fractures occur as the result of a fall. Exercises that focus on muscle strengthening, balance and co-ordination are recommended to help prevent falls.1

Have regular and safe sun exposure for vitamin D

Vitamin D plays an important role in healthy bones. It assists with the absorption of calcium from the intestines and also helps to control calcium levels in the blood. Only a small amount of vitamin D comes from the food we eat, most comes from our bodies producing vitamin D when our skin is exposed to sunlight.2 Regular and safe sun exposure is recommended depending on the season, where you live and the time of day. For example, moderately fair-skinned people with arms exposed require five to ten minutes of sun exposure mid-morning or mid-afternoon on most summer days. In winter, anywhere between seven and 30 minutes of sun exposure around midday is recommended depending on location within Australia.3




1 Ebeling P, Daly R, Kerr D, Kimlin M. Building bones throughout life: an evidence-informed strategy to prevent osteoporosis in Australia. Med J Aust. 2013;199(7 Supp):S1.

2 Ebeling P, Daly R, Kerr D, Kimlin M. Building bones throughout life: an evidence-informed strategy to prevent osteoporosis in Australia. Med J Aust. 2013;199(7 Supp):S1.

3 Osteoporosis Australia. Vitamin D [Internet]. Osteoporosis Australia, Glede, 2015. Available from: http://www.osteoporosis.org.au/vitamin-d