A NEW study has found that a sedentary lifestyle in men is associated with weaker bones and osteoporosis.

The study, led by Durham University, found that people in their sixties who spent a lot of time sitting down are at increased risk of developing fragility fractures.

Over half a million fragility fractures - where a fracture occurs from a fall at standing height or less – happen each year in the UK. It is estimated that by 2025, that number will have risen by 27 per cent.

Dr Karen Hind from the Department of Sport and Exercise Sciences at Durham University, said: “We know that excessive sedentary time can lower someone’s metabolism which can lead to being overweight and type two diabetes.

“What we now know is that being inactive is also associated with lower bone strength and an increased risk of osteoporosis.

“Osteoporosis is a disease that affects older people but by encouraging this age group to keep active, it will help improve their bone health.”

The researchers also found that men spent more time sitting still than women and therefore had weaker bones, particularly in their lower back.

Weight-bearing and muscle strengthening exercises are important for building bone strength and preventing osteoporosis, however, new research shows that even just getting your 10,000 steps a day can help to keep bones strong.

This is the first study to show that a sedentary lifestyle in men is associated with weaker bones and osteoporosis.

The research, published in the Journal of Public Health, was carried out by academics from Durham and Newcastle Universities. The research team followed 214 men and women aged 62, from Newcastle University’s Thousand Families Study.

Dr Hind added: “Currently there are no specific guidelines for this age group to encourage light physical activity or to reduce sedentary time. It would be great to see initiatives that specifically target this group to increase their awareness of the importance of staying active and reducing the amount of time spent sitting still.”

Researchers say that even making daily lifestyle hacks can make a difference, such as parking the car further away from the shopping centre or taking the stairs instead of the lift.

The study was funded by JGW Patterson Foundation and The National Institute for Health Research (NIHR).