Quick Test: Are Your Hips Actually Weight-Bearing?

In order for your hips to be building bone density through the day, they need to be supporting the weight of your pelvis and torso in a certain alignment. 

A common pattern we see with resting standing positions is standing with the pelvis pushed slightly forward (as in the first picture). It is subtle but has major implications for bone health of the hips (not to mention the long term impact of this position on foot health, core strength, and balance).

Shifting the pelvis back so your body weight is carried over the heels (second picture) and maintaining this position throughout the day allows for optimal bone health. However, getting to this position if this is not your usual requires taking a closer look at the muscle groups that attach to the pelvis. 

A quick and simple test to help you determine where you carry your center of mass: make a plumb line from string with something weighted at the bottom. Position yourself facing sideways toward a mirror and find the boniest...

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All Walking is Not Created Equal

When it comes to walking, most of us have a strong preference between walking outdoors, indoors, or on a treadmill. We tend to think these activities are interchangeable from a health perspective, but are they? The surfaces that we walk on change the experience of our body and the muscles that we use.

Walking overground should be powered by the backs of our legs with our torso vertical. In order to propel us forward, our muscles generate a pushing action behind us to push the ground away. On the other hand, a treadmill forces our body to do exactly the opposite, relying on a walking pattern driven by the muscles in the front of the hip and thigh to catch yourself because the “ground” is coming toward you. Therefore, treadmill walking is not the same as walking overground.

So Why Does This Matter?

For most of us, the muscles of the fronts of our hips are already shortened due to time spent sitting every day. Treadmill use encourages further shortening and overuse of...

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Building Bone Density Starts at Any Age

Building bone density starts decades before osteoporosis is a concern. At the same time, it is never too late to start building bone density even if you have already been diagnosed with osteoporosis. Bone, just like any other tissue in the body, constantly undergoes a process of new cell growth and old cell breakdown. Different factors, generally lifestyle choices, change this ratio and may start to cause problems with bone formation. Osteoporosis does not impact all bones equally, but instead is an indicator that bones that have low density are not being stimulated to grow for a variety of reasons, like inadequate loading. Certain types of stress to the bone caused by movement and weight-bearing stimulate new growth. Bone takes about 10 years to completely turn over, so every 10 years you get a new skeleton!

Mechanics of Bone Growth

Mechanical deformation, like forces from gravity, ground reaction, and muscle contraction, stimulates bone growth and resorption. Muscles...

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