The Osteoporosis Quiz: How Much Do You Really Know?

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The Osteoporosis Quiz: How Much Do You Really Know?

A study conducted by the National Osteoporosis Foundation revealed that most women over the age of 45 fail to recognize their personal risk for developing osteoporosis, the disease of “porous bones.”  Even though the majority of women have at least two risk factors for the disease by this age, they do not perceive themselves to be personally at risk.

In order to bridge the gap between perception and reality, take this True/False quiz to boost your bone health IQ.  (Answers are below. No cheating!)

True of False?

1)        Primary risk factors for osteoporosis include gender and age.

2)        Osteoporosis is an inevitable part of the aging process.  All women in their 80s have this disease.

3)        Prolonged low estrogen levels – such as those seen in young women who exercise or diet excessively and in postmenopausal women – may cause irreversible bone loss.

4)        Sedentary individuals in general have less bone mass than exercising individuals.

5)        It’s normal to lose height with age, so don’t be alarmed if you’re shrinking.

6)        Thin women with small frames are less likely to develop fractures from osteoporosis because their bones are not stressed by excess weight.

7)        Peak bone mass, which is achieved by age 30, is a significant determinant for risk of fracture over the lifetime.

8)        You should have a bone density test if you are 50 or older and have broken a bone in a minor injury.

9)        Calcium and appropriate exercise are both important for bone health.  If you are calcium deficient, you can compensate by exercising harder.

10)      If you are diagnosed with osteoporosis, you should immediately begin doing vigorous exercise, pushing yourself to your point of tolerance.

The Osteoporosis Quiz: How Much Do You Really Know?Answers:

1) True:  Being female and of older age are two top risk factors.

2) False:  While it true that osteoporosis becomes more common with age, it is not true that every older person gets it.  About half of women in their 80s have it.

3) True:  In women, the sex hormone estrogen protects bones.  Low estrogen at an early age is just as damaging to the bones as low estrogen after menopause.  You may never be able to recoup the lost bone.

4) True:  People who are bedridden, are inactive or do not exercise are at high risk for osteoporosis.

5) False:  Loss of height of more than one inch is cause for concern.  Vertebral fractures can cause height loss and when there is no pain, you may not be aware that you have them.

6) False:  Small, thin bones are more fragile and vulnerable to fracture.

7) True:  Peak bone mass is the point at which you have the greatest amount of bone you’ll ever have. From this time on, you begin to lose bone very gradually.  More “bone in the bank” means better protection once bone loss begins.

8) True:  You can’t feel your bones growing weaker.  Often, breaking a bone is the first clue that you have osteoporosis.

9) False: Calcium and exercise have an additive effect on bone.  Exercise stimulates new bone growth and calcium mineralizes the new bone.

10) False:  If you’ve been diagnosed, you want to protect the spine and avoid falls.  Switch to low impact activities (walking, elliptical, cross country ski, etc.) and lift lighter weights with higher repetitions. Balance training is important for fall prevention.

©  Copyright – Joan L. Pagano. All Rights Reserved Worldwide.



  • Joan Pagano

    Joan Pagano has specialized in strength training for women since 1988 – training, teaching, and writing books on the subject, including Strength Training Exercises for Women (DK, 2014). When the health benefits of strength training started making headlines in the 1990s, and in particular how weight training could protect the bones and prevent osteoporosis, it was a natural segue for her. At that time, Joan was developing and delivering fitness training guidelines for osteoporosis to national audiences of exercise professionals. Currently Joan is recognized by the industry as a leading authority on exercise program design for osteoporosis. She is certified as an Exercise Physiologist by the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) and is on the Ambassadors Leadership Council for the National Osteoporosis Foundation. Visit Joan at:

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