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Exercise linked to strong bones

Parents have been urged to encourage their children to do more exercise as researchers have revealed that youngsters who are more physically active have stronger bones.

A study carried out by scientists at Southampton University found children who did the most exercise had more robust skeletons.

They compared the average amount of physical activity of 200 four-year-olds with the strength of their bones.

Dr Nick Harvey, clinical lecturer at the MRC Epidemiology Resource Centre, and manager of the project said: "Evidence suggests that it is likely that the better your bones are when you are young, the better they will be when you are older.

"So more physical activity as a child could potentially mean stronger bones in old age."

The findings were presented at the National Osteoporosis Society (NOS) Conference in Edinburgh.

NOS spokeswoman Sarah Leyland said: "The decline in physical activity in children over the last decade is worrying and this piece of research shows that it could have a detrimental effect on the nation's bone health."

The society said parents should encourage their children to be more active and walk short distances instead of sitting in a buggy or watching TV.

National Osteoporosis Society

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