New CIHR grant to study exercise for osteoporosis

Thursday, August 1, 2019
Lora Giangregorio

Kinesiology Professor Lora Giangregorio is one of three University of Waterloo researchers to receive a 2019 spring competition grant from the Canadian Institutes for Health Research (CIHR). The findings from her project, called ‘Finding the optimal resistance training intensity for your bones: A randomized controlled trial (FORTIFY Bones),’ will help people with osteoporosis make informed decisions about exercise. 

“Exercises to build strength, which involve lifting weights, may have many benefits for people with low bone mineral density,” Giangregorio says. “But health care providers may be wary of recommending them without good evidence that they are safe and effective, and patients are often told to avoid activities which involve lifting. We think they may be missing out on the opportunity to maintain or improve muscle and bone strength with aging.”

Giangregorio’s study will evaluate whether progressive strength training at moderate to high intensity can improve bone strength and other health outcomes for people with low bone mineral density, and whether the intensity needs to be on the higher end, or if moderate intensity has similar effects.

The other two Waterloo researchers who received CIHR spring 2019 project competition grants are Emmanuel Ho (Pharmacy) and Qing-Bin Lu (Physics and Astronomy). The three grants totaled $3 million.