No one truly knows what the future of our country will look like, but as it pertains to bone health, it is looking very “fragile.” Decades ago, you the reader, were likely spending your summer school break outside in the sunshine doing what kids used to do, “play”. There were no I phones, no computers, very little television, just good old playing. And the net result of that “play” still resulted in close to 60 million Americans suffering from low bone density. The current minimum recommendation from the CDC is for children ages 6-18 years old to participate in at least 60 minutes of physical activity daily. This age range is also the crucial period in which adult bone density is being established. Unfortunately, a 2013 CDC study showed that only 27% of adolescents (and only 17% of females) were achieving this minimum standard. That is exactly why the prevalence of osteoporosis is expected to increase by over 300% in the very near future. That figure represents an osteoporosis induced fracture occurring every single second of the day.
A 2010 Kaiser Foundation study demonstrated that kids today listen to 2.5 hours of music, 5 hours of movies and 3 hours of internet; that adds up to 75 hours of media every week. I am assuming those figures are larger than they were in 2010. Don’t believe me, just look outside sometime and see how many kids are playing in your neighborhood. Unless you live in the exception, you will see few to none.
Remember this, bone is not dead, stiff tissue. In fact, it is quite the opposite. Healthy bone is an ever changing, flexible living tissue which houses 99% of your body’s calcium, produces new blood cells, stores vital fatty tissue and protects and supports our bodies. It is only during the active “play” periods in a child’s life that healthy, strong bone is created. Wasting 75 hours per week in front of a mindless electronic device does absolutely nothing to promote the growth of one of the body’s most critical organs.
We have addressed the problem, now what do we do about it? The way I see it, we have three choices to make. First, we can stay the same, do nothing, and face increases in healthcare costs in the hundreds of billions. The combined complications from osteoporosis, obesity and insulin resistant diabetes, a result of the continued inactivity, will be enough to cripple the nation. The absolute best choice would be for us to promote and encourage our youth toward highly active sports and hobbies from kindergarten to high school and beyond. These activities build not only strong bones and muscle, but coordination, timing, balance and social skills.
It is our responsibility as parents and guardians to make sure the future is strong and healthy. Proverbs 22:6 says “train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it”. Wisdom at its finest! The third option, one in which we are seeing dramatic changes in bone density and strength, is the use of OsteoStrong’s patented osteogenic loading protocol. For children, osteogenic loading is a viable means of achieving superior bone density in the shortest time possible, even though it is missing the most important aspect of playing, and that is to simply have FUN. Now go outside and PLAY. Give me a call if you have questions about OsteoStrong or simply about the best forms of physical activity to encourage healthy bone and muscle growth into adulthood.
Yours for better health – Dr. Derek K. Albrecht D.C.