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Abstract

Low mechanical loading aquatic activities such as swimming and scuba diving have identified decreased bone mineral density (BMD); however, the effects of long-term surfing on bone health remains uninvestigated. This was a cross-sectional observational study with two groups: surfers (n = 11) with 40 years surfing experience and age and gender-matched sedentary controls (n = 10). Data collected included physical activity questionnaires, biomarkers, BMD, bone mineral content and body composition. Surfers demonstrated a significantly (p < 0.05) higher mean BMD in the arms (+18.8%), trunk (+26.1%), ribs (+27.2%), spine (+39.5%), and lumbar spine (+22.8%). Surfers also exhibited a significantly (p < 0.05) higher BMC in the arms, trunk, ribs, spine and pelvis. Surfers also had a significantly higher (p = .046) lean muscle mass in their arms (+16.8%). Our results indicate long-term participation in surfing is beneficial to bone health and maybe an ideal physical activity for middle-aged aquatic enthusiasts.

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