gms | German Medical Science

Physical activity and successful aging
10th International EGREPA Conference

European Group for Research into Elderly and Physical Activity

14.09. - 16.09.2006 in Köln

Optimisation of osteoporosis - prevention through tennis

Meeting Abstract

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  • corresponding author K. Weber - German Sport University Cologne, Germany

Physical activity and successful aging. Xth International EGREPA Conference. Cologne, 14.-16.09.2006. Düsseldorf, Köln: German Medical Science; 2006. Doc06pasa091

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Veröffentlicht: 18. Dezember 2006

© 2006 Weber.
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Prevalence and economic significance

Worldwide approximately 75 million people above 60 years of age suffer from osteoporosis, 80% being postemenopausal women. Fractures associated with osteoporosis are more common among women than cardiac infarctions, apoplexy and breast cancer together (BARTL & BARTL 2004). Timely systematical preventive measures could help avoid a significant part of the osteoporosis conditioned fractures.

Prevention and therapy of osteoporosis through tennis

It is officially accepted that past and present physical activity has a protective effect on bone mineral content and density. For the prevention of osteoporosis physical activities claiming many and large muscle groups for as long as possible as well as for short and intensive moments are most valuable, so that in particular the bones grow thicker and denser which are subject to fractures in old age: spine, hip, upper leg and lower arm. Tennis succinctly fulfills these requirements. Eminently appropriate are movements absorbing the body weight against gravity or working explosively against centrifugal force, since here especially tensile and pressure forces on muscles, tendons and bones are practiced. The latter occurs in tennis with all jumps (e.g. overhead smash or volley) as well as with all swift direction shifts (e.g. starting from the forehand or backhand corner, also direction shifts directly after short sprints towards a stop). Therefore tennis is classified as a high-impact sport and is exceedingly suitable for the prevention of osteoporosis. - Several scientific studies (KORONAS et al. 2003; KRAHL et al. 1995; NAGATA et al. 2002) prove that tennis is an effective protection against osteoporosis when exercised frequently and regularly. A stimulus fortification on bone thickness and density can be expected if situations are provoked whereby the body weight must be absorbed downwards (e.g. overhead smash whilst jumping) and sideways (immediate direction shift).

Tennis players suffering from osteopenia or preclinical osteoporosis as well as with more or less pronounced movement pains should avoid uncontrolled jumps during smashes and volleys and direction shifts (e.g. running towards stop ball or to the side).

Examples for tennis

Finally there will be several examples for tennis as well as some for Prevention of osteoporosis (from childhood to “osteoporosis age“) and for Protection and abatement of osteopenia and preclinical osteoporosis (with or without movement pains) in practically usage on tenniscourt.