Water polo is associated with an apparent redistribution of bone mass and density from the lower to the upper limbs

Stavros A. Kavouras, Faidon Magkos, Mary Yannakoulia, Maria Perraki, Melina Karipidou, Labros S. Sidossis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

4 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The bone response to exercise is site-specific and load-dependent. Recent evidence suggests that an inverse relationship may exist between loaded and unloaded sites, such that the former may benefit at the expense of the latter. The present study examined this possibility in 48 males (21 water polo players, 12 handball players, and 15 sedentary controls). Water polo and handball are alike with respect to the active loading of the upper limbs during overhead throwing; however, the weight-supporting environment of water polo removes the weight-bearing effect from the lower limbs. Bone mineral content (BMC), bone projected area (Ap), and areal bone mineral density (aBMD) of the total body and of various subregions were determined by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry. After adjusting for age, height, and weight, water polo players had higher arms BMC, Ap, and aBMD (by 22.2, 11.1, and 10.5%, respectively; P < 0.05), but lower legs aBMD (-6.3%; P < 0.05) relative to controls. On the contrary, compared to controls, handball players had higher BMC (from 11.8 to 24.3%), Ap (from 5.2 to 11.7%), and aBMD (from 6.4 to 11.9%) for the total body at all sites. Water polo athletes had increased arms and decreased legs aBMD ratios (regional-to-total) than either handball players or sedentary subjects (P < 0.001). Water polo is associated with an apparent redistribution of bone mass and density from the lower to the upper limbs, with no major effects on the rest of the body.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)316-321
Number of pages6
JournalEuropean Journal of Applied Physiology
Volume97
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 2006
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Upper Extremity
Bone Density
Water
Leg Bones
Arm Bones
Weights and Measures
Bone and Bones
Photon Absorptiometry
Weight-Bearing
Athletes
Lower Extremity
Arm
Exercise

Keywords

  • Exercise
  • Handball
  • Loading
  • Site-specific
  • Skeleton

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Physiology
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation

Cite this

Water polo is associated with an apparent redistribution of bone mass and density from the lower to the upper limbs. / Kavouras, Stavros A.; Magkos, Faidon; Yannakoulia, Mary; Perraki, Maria; Karipidou, Melina; Sidossis, Labros S.

In: European Journal of Applied Physiology, Vol. 97, No. 3, 06.2006, p. 316-321.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Kavouras, Stavros A. ; Magkos, Faidon ; Yannakoulia, Mary ; Perraki, Maria ; Karipidou, Melina ; Sidossis, Labros S. / Water polo is associated with an apparent redistribution of bone mass and density from the lower to the upper limbs. In: European Journal of Applied Physiology. 2006 ; Vol. 97, No. 3. pp. 316-321.
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