Atrophy of the bones in modern man (and women)

This section provides an opportunity to share scientific articles and studies that shine some light on how Yin Yoga affects us. When you post a link to a study or article here, please include one or two paragraphs summarizing the important findings and/or provide the salient quotation from the article. Please do not simply cut and paste the whole study: provide only links and your summary.
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Joined: Sat Sep 23, 2006 2:25 am
Location: Vancouver

Atrophy of the bones in modern man (and women)

Post by Bernie »

This research showed both how our daily activities, especially when we are children, affect the strength of our bones. The study is called From athletes to couch potatoes: Humans through 6,000 years of farming. Here is a salient quote:
  • Human bones are remarkably plastic and respond surprisingly quickly to change. Put under stress through physical exertion -- such as long-distance walking or running -- they gain in strength as the fibres are added or redistributed according to where strains are highest. The ability of bone to adapt to loading is shown by analysis of the skeletons of modern athletes, whose bones show remarkably rapid adaptation to both the intensity and direction of strains.
So, what has happened to us over the last 6,000 years?
  • [This study] shows that after the emergence of agriculture in Central Europe from around 5300 BC, the bones of those living in the fertile soils of the Danube river valley became progressively less strong, pointing to a decline in mobility and loading. ... male mobility among earliest farmers (around 7,300 years ago) was, on average, at a level near that of today's student cross-country runners. Within just over 3,000 years, average mobility had dropped to the level of those students rated as sedentary, after which the decline slowed.... male tibiae became less rigid and that bones in both males and females became less strengthened to loads in one direction more than another, such as front-to-back in walking. These findings all indicate a drop in mobility. In other words, it is likely that the people to whom the skeletons belonged became, over generations, less intensely active and probably covered less distance, or carried out less physically demanding tasks, than those who had lived before them.
I other words, if you don't use it, you will lose it. Yoga stresses can help us reduce this decay by stressing the bones, but so can many other forms of exercise, like walking! Walk lots. Never a bad idea.

Use it or lose it.

Post by Mo »

My husband and I were discussing why there are huge waitlists for hip replacements and I think it's for this very reason of the sedentary man who has not born the same stress load on his legs, hips, etc and hence the burden on the medical system to replace so many hips.

It's a challenge to to get folks to believe this theory because if they experience discomfort they don't want to experience anything like an"edge" to find their way back to mobility. I realize for many it may be too late and surgery is required. I'm excited to hear Yin is flourishing as a practice. I know at the studio I teach our classes are attracting more and more people.

I am honoured to guide people in this beautiful inward practice of allowing and opening.

Thank you Bernie for this forum.
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