Astronauts know the risks of sitting
At this very moment, someone in the world is breaking his or her bone.
Every 3 seconds…
Because every 3 seconds someone in the world has a fracture.
A hip, arm or spine breaks
Every 3 seconds someone in the world is breaking his or her hip, arm or spine. Or any other bone in the body.
This is due to osteoporosis.
Due to the fact, we become older.
When we become older our bones become weaker.
We cannot do anything about that.
Yes, we can prevent this
This new study of astronauts can help prevent diseases related to bones, like osteoporosis.
What is osteoporosis?
But first, what is osteoporosis?
Osteoporosis stands for ‘porous bone’. It is a bone disease that occurs when the body loses too much bone, makes too little bone, or both.
Same risk as heart disease
Therefore it is easy to break your hip, spine or arm. Did you know that the combined lifetime risk for hip, forearm and spine fractures coming to clinical attention is around 40%? This is the same rate as the risk for heart disease!
Your chance to osteoporosis
So how high are my chances?
Here are some facts from the International Osteoporosis Foundation.
Worldwide osteoporosis causes more than 8.9 million fractures annually. This results in an osteoporotic fracture every 3 seconds!
One out of 3 women and 5 men
Worldwide 1 in 3 women over age 50 will experience osteoporotic fractures. As will 1 in 5 men aged over 50.
So as we become older the risk of osteoporosis increases. However, everyone is different and some people are more prone to osteoporosis than others.
This study of astronauts can help us understand how bone-loss works.
Astronauts lose bone mass fast
According to NASA, astronauts who spend many months on a space mission can lose, on average, 1 to 2 percent of bone mass each month.
They usually experience bone loss in the lower halves of their body, particularly in the bones of the spine and legs.
Losing 10 percent of bone
The femoral bone of an astronaut in space loses 1.5 percent of its mass per month. The femoral bone is located in the thigh. This bone is the longest bone in our body and supposed to be the strongest bone in our body. However, an astronaut loses approximately even 10 percent of its bone mass during a six-month stay in space.
Regaining is difficult
It is quicker to lose bone mass than to regain it. Because the recovery time after returning to earth takes at least three or four years, states NASA.
Plus the loss of bone mass also triggers an increase in the levels of calcium in the blood, which increases the risk of kidney stones.
Why do they lose it?
So why do astronauts lose so much bone mass?
The reason lies in the fact that astronauts don’t experience gravity in space. They are floating. Their movements are slow, their muscles don’t need to work hard, and their bones don’t need to work with gravity as we have here on earth.
Lack of movement
According to Dr. Smith Johnston (medical officer and flight surgeon at NASA), living in the microgravity environment of space means “to be floating 92 percent of the time, since only 8 percent of the time is engaged in intense exercise and gravitational forces are experienced.” This supposes, assures an “important bone and muscular wear, accelerated aging of the bones, which lose their function of “holding” the rest of the body.” Despite the intensive exercise carried out by some of the astronauts and cosmonauts of NASA. “the loss of bone density is still very significant and it is important to stop it.”
Are you living like an astronaut?
You probably think, well I am not an astronaut, so what has that to do with me? However, living in space is a good example of what happens in the bone tissue of a sedentary person who does not perform any physical exercise.
Laying in bed?
Researchers learned when studying the impact of space travel on bones is relevant for patients who are bedridden. If you are motionless in bed for long periods of time, you experience rapid and progressive bone loss. When you do not at all exercise the muscles, that give strength to the skeleton through movement, you will lose bone density.
Lack of exercise?
You don’t have to be a bedridden patient to lose bone mass. Even studies in healthy volunteers and young people who do not exercise for long periods of time have shown that completely immobilized bones can lose up to 15 percent of the mineral density in a period of three months!
How to prevent osteoporosis?
So what to do when you don’t want to degenerate your muscles – you don’t want to lose it?
You can either do exercise or get a massage. Deep acupressure and stretching massage has the same benefits as doing exercise. However, there are some side effects of doing too much exercise. Exercise is amazing if you do it with care, so you don’t harm your body. So please, do exercise even walking is already great to use muscles and prevent bone loss. And combine exercise with massage to recover faster from the exercise.
Decrease fractures worldwide?
So, hope you are now more aware of the fact that moving is important for your health now and in the future. If we change our habit and move more, we might be able to help to decrease the number of fractures due to osteoporosis worldwide.
Create a healthy day and move!
Nicole & Manel
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