The Relationship between Aerobic Fitness and Bone Health in College-Aged Women


1Masteller, B., 2Dixon, C.B., FACSM, 1Rawson, E.S., FACSM, 1Andreacci, J.L., FACSM. 1Bloomsburg University, Bloomsburg, PA, 2Lock Haven University, Lock Haven, PA

Purpose: To examine the relationship between body composition, cardiovascular fitness and bone mineral content (BMC) in college-aged women. Methods: Thirty-nine women (age = 21.5 ± 2.2 years; body mass index = 23.0 ± 3.4 kg/m2) reported for testing on two occasions separated by 48 hrs: (1) body composition assessment via dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA); and (2) a maximal oxygen consumption (VO2max) test performed on a motorized treadmill. Results: Of the 39 subjects tested, 34 achieved VO2max according to standardized criteria and included in data analysis. Statistical analyses revealed no relation between VO2max and BMC (r = 0.185, p = 0.294). As expected, a positive correlation was observed between body mass and BMC (r = 0.825, p < 0.001). Although both significant, absolute fat mass (r = 0.660, p < 0.001) was more strongly correlated to BMC than was percent body fat (r = 0.527, p = 0.001). Interestingly, no association between fat free mass and BMC was observed in this study (r = 0.291, p = 0.095). Conclusion: The results of this study indicate a positive relationship between body mass, and more specifically fat mass, and BMC. However, no relationship was observed between fat free mass and VO2max on BMC.

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