Campus News News

Elizabeth O’Neill’s Bone Study

Andrew Gutman
Contributing Writer

Eighty percent. That’s the percentage of women suffering from osteoporosis.
Osteoporosis is a disease in which the bone mineral density is reduced, thus making your bones more fragile. Fragile bones can break easily, so it is especially dangerous to the elderly who are more prone to falling and breaking their bones. Osteoporosis has no symptoms either and will not be found usually until a person fractures a bone.

Springfield College Assistant Professor of Exercise Science and Sport Studies Elizabeth O’Neill is performing a study on women to test what form of exercise will help improve bone density the best.
O’Neill has selected a large group of women of different ages to participate in a 12 month, two days a week training program where three different groups perform three different levels of exercise to determine the best method. All the groups are assigned personal trainers so that it is ensured that everyone is performing the exercises perfectly.

Before the women begin the exercise routines, they go through a series of tests similar to DEXA scans to test bone density and a blood drawing to test for osteocalin, which plays a role in building up bone density. O’Neill is looking for an increase in both these measurements. The high-impact group performs strength exercises like high pulls and other Olympic lifts along with plyometric exercises. The machine group uses the basic exercise machines such as leg curls, chest press and more. The low-impact group performs light cardio such as treadmill walking and rowing.
O’Neill predicts that the high-impact group will yield the greatest benefits, which will hopefully open up the door to strengthening bone health in the future.

For more information,
Andrew may be reached at agutman@


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