Multicomponent exercise programs are recommended to reduce fracture risk; however, their effectiveness in real-world community settings remain uncertain. This 18-month randomized controlled trial investigated the effects of a 12-month, community-based, supervised multicomponent exercise program followed by a 6-month “research-to-practice” transition on areal bone mineral density (BMD), trabecular bone microarchitecture, functional performance, and falls in older adults at increased fracture risk. One-hundred and sixty-two adults aged ≥60 years with osteopenia or at increased falls risk were randomized to the Osteo-cise: Strong Bones for Life multicomponent exercise program (n = 81) or a control group (n = 81). Exercise consisted of progressive resistance, weight-bearing impact, and balance training (3-days/week) performed at community leisure centers. Overall 148 (91%) participants completed the trial, and mean exercise adherence was 59% after 12 months and 45% during the final 6 months. After 12 months, there were significant net beneficial effects of exercise on lumbar spine and femoral neck BMD (1.0% to 1.1%, p < 0.05), muscle strength (10% to 13%, p < 0.05), and physical function (timed stair climb 5%; four-square step test 6%; sit-to-stand 16%, p ranging <0.05 to <0.001), which persisted after the 6-month transition. There were no significant effects of the 18-month intervention on distal femur or proximal tibia trabecular bone microarchitecture or falls incidence, but per protocol analysis (≥66% exercise adherence) revealed there was a significant net benefit of exercise (mean [95% confidence interval] 2.8% [0.2, 5,4]) on proximal tibia trabecular bone volume fraction (Osteo-cise 1.5% [−1.2, 4.2]; controls −1.3% [−2.6, 0.1]) after 18 months due to changes in trabecular number (Osteo-cise 1.7% [−0.9, 4.3]; controls −1.1% [−2.4, 0.2]) but not trabecular thickness (Osteo-cise − 0.2% [−0.5, 0.2]; controls −0.2% [−0.4, 0.0]). In conclusion, this study supports the effectiveness of the Osteo-cise: Strong Bones for Life program as a real-world, pragmatic, evidence-based community exercise program to improve multiple musculoskeletal health outcomes in older adults at increased fracture risk.
- BONE MINERAL DENSITY
- RANDOMIZED CONTROLLED TRIAL
- TRABECULAR BONE MICROARCHITECTURE