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Take This 30 Second Test for World Osteoporosis Day

20 October 2016

Fonterra Encourages New Zealand: Take This 30 Second Test for World Osteoporosis Day

Today is World Osteoporosis Day and Fonterra is encouraging New Zealanders to take a 30 second 'sit-to-stand test' to gauge their resilience against osteoporosis.

The sit-to-stand test is a 30 second physical test that measures overall musculo-skeletal health, that researchers say is vital to preventing osteoporosis.

"The test is a bit of fun and anyone in reasonable health can do it. It’s really valuable to test how well your body is faring," says Fonterra Principal Research Scientist Linda Schollum, who specialises in bone health.

“You start out seated in a chair, then count how many times you can stand and sit, with arms folded, in half a minute. As an approximate measure based on current research, a healthy person with average fitness under 40, should be able to achieve a score of more than 20,” says Dr Schollum.

“It’s one of many tests to check on mobility that we usually use on older people. But engaging people of all ages and walks of life is important because prevention is key when it comes to osteoporosis.

“If you are over 40, you should be able to score 1-2 less than this for every decade beyond 40. If you’re having trouble it would be a good idea to consult a health professional. It’s important to fully stand and fully sit at each repetition to get a good measure,” Dr Schollum explains.

After years of researching what the body needs to stay healthy throughout life, authorities including International Osteoporosis Foundation, nutritionists and research scientists are now directing attention to core strength and staying mobile.

Dr Schollum says, “The world has become more aware of how muscles, joints and bones work together holistically. Having plenty of calcium in our diets is vital for developing strong bones to keep osteoporosis at bay.

“But as well as that we also need healthy muscles and joints to support our bones and help our overall mobility, thus helping to prevent fractures."

Fonterra has run carefully controlled similar testing on more than 32,000 participants throughout Asia. The New Zealand challenge is not in a formal research setting at this stage, but launched as a fun and engaging way to raise awareness this World Osteoporosis Day.

As sponsors of the International Osteoporosis Foundation (IOF) Fonterra is committed to raising awareness of bone, muscle and joint health. Osteoporosis prevention is part of the Co-operative’s “Nutrition for Life” policy that focusses on optimising long term quality of life.

To see the sit to stand test visit:

About Osteoporosis Prevention

At every stage of life a nutritious, balanced diet including sufficient calories, adequate protein, fat and carbohydrates, as well as vitamins and minerals (particularly vitamin D and calcium) promotes strong, healthy bones. In childhood and adolescence, good nutrition is especially important to achieve peak bone mass by your 20’s. In adults, a nutritious diet helps preserve bone mass and strength. It also speed recovery and reduces the risk of fractures.

What you can do for your Bone Health:

• Ensure an adequate calcium intake at all stages of your life (2-3 serves of dairy per day)

• Maintain a sufficient supply of vitamin D through adequate, safe exposure to the sun, through diet, or through supplements

• Enjoy a balanced, nutritious diet including protein, and plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables for both bone and general health benefits

• Keep a healthy body weight, as being underweight is a strong risk factor for osteoporosis (body mass index less than 18.5 kg/m2)

• Move it or lose it: Weight bearing exercise (e.g. walking, running, gym, strength training, dancing) helps build bone mass and strength in children and adolescents, maintains bone density in adults, and slows down bone loss in the elderly

• Avoid smoking as it hampers the work of bone-building cells and increases the risk of fracture


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