University of Oulu

Modarress-Sadeghi, M., Oura, P., Junno, J-A., Niemelä, M., Niinimäki, J., Jämsä, T., Korpelainen, R., Karppinen, J., Objectively measured physical activity is associated with vertebral size in midlife, Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 2019, Vol. 51:8, p. 1606-1612, ISSN 0195-9131, DOI: 10.1249/MSS.0000000000001962

Objectively measured physical activity is associated with vertebral size in midlife

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Author: Modarress-Sadeghi, Mahsa1,2; Oura, Petteri1,2,3; Junno, Juho-Antti2,4,5;
Organizations: 1Medical Research Center Oulu, Oulu University Hospital and University of Oulu, Oulu, FINLAND
2Center for Life Course Health Research, University of Oulu, Oulu, FINLAND
3Research Unit of Medical Imaging, Physics and Technology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Oulu, Oulu, FINLAND
4Oulu Deaconess Institute, Department of Sports and Exercise Medicine, Oulu, FINLAND
5Finnish Institute of Occupational Health, Oulu, FINLAND
6Cancer and Translational Medicine Research Unit, Faculty of Medicine, University of Oulu, Oulu, FINLAND
7Department of Archaeology, Faculty of Humanities, University of Oulu, Oulu, FINLAND
8Diagnostic Radiology, Oulu University Hospital and University of Oulu, Oulu, FINLAND
Format: article
Version: accepted version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 0.7 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Wolters Kluwer, 2019
Publish Date: 2019-11-04


Background: Vertebral fractures reduce the quality of life and are a major burden to the health care sector. Small vertebral size is associated with increased vertebral fracture risk. Previous studies have investigated the relationship between physical activity (PA) and vertebral size, but their results seem somewhat contradictory. In this population-based birth cohort study, we aimed to evaluate the relationship between objectively measured PA and vertebral size.

Methods: The study population consisted of 1202 cohort participants who underwent PA and vertebral size measurements at the age of 46 to 48 yr. Moderate-to-vigorous PA (MVPA, ≥3.5 METs) was measured by a wrist-worn accelerometer (Polar Active; Polar Electro, Finland) for 14 d. The vertebral axial cross-sectional area (CSA) of the L4 vertebra was measured and calculated from lumbar magnetic resonance imaging scans at 46 to 48 yr. We analyzed the association between the daily amount of MVPA (min·d⁻¹) and vertebral CSA using multivariable linear regression analysis.

Results: The daily amount of MVPA was significantly and positively associated with CSA in both sexes. For every minute per day of MVPA, men had 0.71 mm² (95% confidence interval, 0.36–1.06) and women 0.90 mm² (95% confidence interval, 0.58–1.21) larger CSA.

Conclusions: Physical activity of at least moderate intensity is positively associated with vertebral size and may thus prevent future vertebral fractures.

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Series: Medicine & science in sports & exercise
ISSN: 0195-9131
ISSN-E: 1530-0315
ISSN-L: 0195-9131
Volume: 51
Issue: 8
Pages: 1606 - 1612
DOI: 10.1249/MSS.0000000000001962
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 315 Sport and fitness sciences
Copyright information: © 2019 American College of Sports Medicine. The Definitive Version of Record can be found online at: