Prospective changes in the distribution of movement behaviors are associated with bone health in the elderly according to variations in their frailty levels

Irene Rodríguez-Gómez, Asier Mañas, José Losa-Reyna, Leocadio Rodríguez-Mañas, Sebastien F.M. Chastin, Luis M. Alegre, Francisco J. García-García, Ignacio Ara*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


Frailty is associated with poor bone health and osteoporosis, and physical activity (PA) is one of the best treatments for both pathologies in older adults. Nonetheless, because daily time is limited, how the time is distributed during the waking hours is critical. The waking hours are spent according to different movement behaviors: sedentary behaviors (SB), light physical activity (LPA), and moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA). The aim of this study was to use compositional data analyses to examine the effects of the change in movement behaviors on bone health during aging in older people, related to the changes in their frailty levels. We analyzed 227 older people aged 65 to 94 (125 women and 102 men) over a 4-year period. Movement behaviors were assessed using accelerometry. Both bone mineral density (BMD) and bone mineral content (BMC) were determined using bone densitometry. The Frailty Trait Scale was used to divide the sample by frailty level evolution during aging. The R statistical system was used for the compositional data analysis and, in addition, all models were adjusted for several covariates. The changes in the distribution of all movement behaviors within a waking hour period were significantly associated with spine and femoral neck BMD changes in the subgroup with a positive change in frailty level and spine BMC in the subgroup with no change in frailty level (p ≤ .05). Likewise, MVPA relative to the change in other movement behaviors was also associated in both subgroups with higher BMD and BMC, respectively, in the same body areas (p ≤ .05). No significant associations were found in the negative change in frailty level subgroup. Older people who achieved a positive change in frailty level during a 4-year period showed higher BMD changes compared to those with no changes or increases in their frailty level. Therefore, increasing MVPA relative to the change in the other movement behaviors during a 4-year period could perhaps produce bone health improvements in the elderly that do not worsen their frailty level. © 2020 American Society for Bone and Mineral Research.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1236-1245
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Bone and Mineral Research
Issue number7
Early online date17 Mar 2020
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2020


  • moderate-to-vigorous physical activity
  • bone mineral density
  • elderly
  • light physical activity
  • sedentary time

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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