Contribution of Evidence Regarding Bone Density and Physical Activity for the UK Chief Medical Officers' Physical Activity Guidelines

Impact: Health and Well-Being impacts, Public policy impacts, 03: Good Health and Well-Being (UN SDG)

Description of impact

Declan's contributions to research on bone density were cited in the UK Chief Medical Officers' Physical Activity Guidelines, which 'are designed to aid health professionals and others to provide individuals and communities with information on the type and amount of physical activity that they should undertake to improve their health' (p. 4).

The report cited the research to evidence the success of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) for some health outcomes, including maintenance of bone health and greater bone mineral density (pp. 41-42.)


NHS and other health professionals, policy-makers, sports and exercises professionals, infants, children, adults and older adults in the UK,

How have research outputs led to this impact?

The research found that the habitual physical behaviour (PB) predictors of bone health in older persons include: 'night time sleeping duration, number
of short bouts of sedentary behaviours (SB), number and duration of bouts of PA relative to total waking hours.' The results suggested that 'a balance of activities must be maintained across the PB spectrum.' One of the findings suggested that those older adults who engage in more moderate intensity activity tended to have a higher bone density. This finding supported the recommendation that older adults should aim to accumulate 150 minutes of moderate intensity activity per week. Furthermore the findings added evidence to suggest that light-intensity activity may be beneficial for health in older adults who are not able to engage in moderate intensity activity. This supported the guideline that older adults should break up sitting time with light-intensity activity.
Impact statusCompleted
Impact date7 Nov 2019
Category of impactHealth and Well-Being impacts, Public policy impacts, 03: Good Health and Well-Being (UN SDG)
Impact levelEarly stage Impact