Exercise and Musculoskeletal Health in Men With Low Bone Mineral Density: A Systematic Review

Author: Katherine Hu1, Maree Cassimatis2, Christian Girgis3,4
1 Sydney Medical School, University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia.
2 Discipline of Exercise and Sports Science, Sydney School of Health Sciences, Faculty of Medicine and Health, University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia.
3 Department of Diabetes and Endocrinology, Westmead Hospital, Westmead, Australia.
4 Faculty of Medicine and Health, University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia.
Conference/Journal: Arch Rehabil Res Clin Transl
Date published: 2023 Dec 6
Other: Volume ID: 6 , Issue ID: 1 , Pages: 100313 , Special Notes: doi: 10.1016/j.arrct.2023.100313. , Word Count: 243

This systematic review aims to determine the effects of exercise on bone and muscle health in men with low bone density.

Data sources:
An electronic search in the following databases was performed: Medline, AMED, Embase, Scopus, and SPORTDiscus between January 1940 and September 2021.

Study selection:
Randomized or non-randomized trials involving any form of exercise in adult men with a densitometric diagnosis of osteoporosis or osteopenia and reported outcomes relating to bone or muscle health. Two independent reviewers screened 12,018 records, resulting in 13 eligible articles.

Data extraction:
One reviewer extracted data into a pre-formed table, including characteristics of the exercise intervention, population examined, and primary and secondary outcomes. Study quality was assessed by 2 independent reviewers using the Tool for assEssment of Study qualiTy and reporting in Exercise (TESTEX).

Data synthesis:
Thirteen publications, originating from 6 unique trials, were eligible for inclusion, which assessed the effect of resistance training, impact training, whole body vibration, and traditional Chinese exercises. Resistance training was the most effective: it stimulates the replacement of adipose tissue with muscle, and in some cases, improved bone density.

Exercise, especially resistance training, slowed down the natural progression of osteoporosis and sarcopenia in men. These benefits are reflected in enhancements to function, such as improved mobility and balance. Other exercise modalities, such as whole body vibration and traditional Chinese exercises, generated minimal improvements to bone health, strength, and balance.

Keywords: Bone; Exercise; Male; Muscle; Osteopenia; Osteoporosis; Rehabilitation; Systematic review.

PMID: 38482104 PMCID: PMC10928274 DOI: 10.1016/j.arrct.2023.100313