Breaks you should avoid

Know Your Bones wants you to enjoy your breaks; those much anticipated, once in a lifetime long haul escapes, the discovery adventures across our continent and the short weekend breaks to a favourite destination to recharge and relax.

You should be able to enjoy every single holiday break and avoid the bone breaks (also known as fractures) due to poor bone health. An online tool called ‘Know Your Bones’ is now available to help you understand your risk of bone breaks. A joint initiative of the Garvan Institute of Medical Research and Osteoporosis Australia, it can be accessed at www.knowyourbones.org.au

Osteoporosis Australia’s latest figures show that in Australia a bone is broken every 3.4 minutes due to poor bone health. A break due to osteoporosis can lead to pain, and loss of mobility and independence. That’s something we all want to avoid.

From the age of 60, 40 per cent of women and 25 per cent of men will break a bone due to osteoporosis. It’s estimated that 1.2 million Australians live with osteoporosis and 6.3 million have low bone density. Osteoporosis affects women and men, and occurs when bones lose their density and quality, weakening the skeleton and, in turn, increasing the risk of fractures.

Two-thirds of Australian seniors have poor bone health, and most don’t know it. There are many risk factors for osteoporosis, including a family history of the disease, fractures that result from a simple trip or fall and having a low bone density.

If you are aware of any medical risk factors, such as low body weight, early menopause, low testosterone, coeliac disease, corticosteroid use (e.g. for asthma), some cancer treatments (particularly for breast and prostate cancer), loss of height (3 cm or more), overactive thyroid and parathyroid conditions, you should take the online assessment. Lifestyle issues can also impact your bone health, including calcium and vitamin D deficiency, smoking, insufficient exercise and excessive alcohol consumption.

During NSW Seniors Week (March 3–12), Know Your Bones, together with its friends at the Sydney Ibis on Darling Harbour is giving you a chance to self-assess your risk of bone breaks, and to go into the draw to win a relaxing break: two nights in a Superior Room, for two adults, including a buffet breakfast. Simply take a five-minute break during your day. Log onto www.knowyourbones.org.au and follow the prompts.

If you would like to know more, Osteoporosis Australia will also be exhibiting at the NSW Seniors Expo (March 7­­­­–8).

Once you have completed your assessment you can save and print it out to take to your GP to discuss an action plan, if required. Give yourself a break, get to Know Your Bones and avoid the breaks due to osteoporosis.

For further information please contact:

Nicole Smith
Business Manager, Osteoporosis Australia

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