Degree Name

Master of Science (Hons.)


Department of Biomedical Science


Bone is a dynamic tissue that is continuously undergoing cycles of resorption and formation throughout life. Factors known to effect this remodelling process include an individual's nutritional and hormonal status and physical activity and achievable bone density is dependent on the interaction between an individuals chosen lifestyle and genetic make-up. There is considerable evidence that physical activity may have a positive effect on bone mineral density through the effects of mechanical loading and local and systemic physiological mechanisms. Lack of a change in bone mineral density following exercise has also been found, and this discrepancy in the literature may reflect differences in the nature, intensity and duration of the exercise programs that have been used. The complexity of the interaction between lifestyle and genetic factors, age and site specific responses also makes interpretation of the literature difficult. It has been suggested that attainment of a high peak bone mass earUer in life may compensate for the normal loss of bone which occurs and accelerates with aging. Moderate intensity activity has been shown to have a positive effect in the development of skeletal mass in children. However, there is a paucity of prospective information on the effects of physical activity in early-adulthood. The aim of this study was to investigate whether a protocol of running training designed to increase cardiovascular fitness would effect changes in bone mineral density (BMD), bone mineral content (BMC) and bone metabolism of young sedentary males. This study was also designed to assess possible associations between cardiovascular fitness and anthropometric variables and BMD and BMC.