Press Page

Press Page

There are not many articles about weight vests online because it is just a small niche market. When the article came out in the Wall Street Journal in 2013 there were some tagalong articles shortly after that.
Here is the article that appeared in the Wall Street Journal. If it is too small for you to read use the zoom button on your browser to make it bigger-

Weight Vest For Osteoporosis

 

 

Here is an article that appeared in the Columbus Dispatch about Weight Vests –

The Columbus Dispatch Sunday September 29, 2013 9:25 AM

Weighted vests might improve bone mass

By Rick Rouan

Osteoporosis patients who want to build stronger bones can take a cue from athletes who want to perform better on the field, track or court.

Research has shown that patients can improve balance and maybe even fortify bone density by wearing weighted vests while they exercise, and experts say it’s worth a shot even if the study results are inconclusive.

However, the vest isn’t for everyone. People who have a curved spine or can’t support the additional weight should concentrate on exercising without the additional load.

But a vest could be a cost-effective step for many.

We’ve known for a long time that the more stress you put on the bones, the more the bones are going to react and thicken,” said Dr. Donald Mack, an assistant professor in Ohio State University’s Department of Family Medicine.

As people grow older and exercise less, muscles exert less stress on the skeletal system. Think of a tree pushed by stiff wind — bones grow stronger against that stimulus, Mack said. Without it, they can wither.

That’s why doctors recommend exercise — even light movement such as walking — for osteoporosis patients, he said. For those who can handle it, the additional load of a weighted vest can help build even stronger muscle.

Wearing it also can improve balance, said Karen Kemmis, a physical therapist for the State University of New York Upstate Medical University. Bone fractures caused by falls are among the most common injuries among osteoporosis patients.

A recent study found that those who wear a weighted vest during exercise experienced more significant balance improvements than those who exercised without the vest and those who did not exercise at all.

Exercise alone also led to balance improvements in the study of 36 sedentary, postmenopausal women.

Kemmis recommends lower-impact exercises, such as walking or dancing, for osteoporosis patients. The intensity of the exercise largely depends on the person’s energy level.

It could feel like a strenuous walk, but certainly nothing that’s going to change the person’s stride, mechanics or posture while they’re walking,” Kemmis said.

Evidence that weighted vests add bone density is inconclusive, but small studies have found trends in that direction, said Dr. Felicia Cosman, clinical director for the National Osteoporosis Foundation. “There’s a science that underlies it that makes sense.”

Adding weight for exercise is unlikely to help patients who are overweight and already carry a larger load, Mack said. Studies have found that heavier people are affected less by osteoporosis.

Mack said he hasn’t recommended the treatment to his patients because he already struggles to persuade them to exercise at all.

My own sense is, the patients who it would (appeal to) are already participating in a weight-lifting or exercise program,” he said.

 

Weight vest helps prevent bone loss

November 17, 2013 11:43 PM

By Jack Kelly / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

A major problem as we age — especially for women — is bone loss.

Bone is living tissue. As we age, new bone is created more slowly than old bone is removed. When we’re past 35, we lose, on average, about 1 percent of our bone mass each year.

If our bones become so weak and brittle that minor stress can cause a fracture, the condition is called osteoporosis (porous bones). About 50 percent of women and 25 percent of men over 50 will break a bone due to osteoporosis, according to the National Osteoporosis Foundation.

Women are much more likely than men to develop osteoporosis because they have less bone mass to lose to start with, they live longer and bone mass loss tends to accelerate after menopause.

The risk of osteoporosis and osteopenia (bone mineral density is low but not yet dangerously low) can be reduced through diet and exercise. If we walk a mile or more a day, we can add about 1 percent a year to bone mass, research at Tufts University indicates. That’s enough to offset bone loss from aging.

We can increase bone density if we wear a weighted vest when we take our walks or when we work out, says Victor Prisk, an orthopedic surgeon for the West Penn Allegheny Health Care system.

“Bone responds to stress,” said Dr. Prisk, who in his spare time is a champion body builder. “If you add more weight to your skeleton, you’ll grow more bone faster.”

Dr. Prisk was a gymnast in high school and college. He began wearing a weighted vest while he was doing resistance exercises, such as push-ups and pull-ups, to build strength faster. A study of athletes at Texas Tech University indicated athletes who wore a weighted vest during traditional resistance exercises had “substantially” better results after six weeks than athletes who didn’t.

If you wear a weighted vest while exercising, you’ll burn more calories, so it may also accelerate fat loss. People who wore an 8-pound vest while exercising burned 23 percent more calories than people who didn’t, according to a study by Prevention magazine.

Dr. Prisk’s wife, Kristini Curci, a psychiatrist at UPMC Mercy, who is also a body builder, wears a weighted vest sometimes when she works out on the treadmill or the elliptical machine they have at home.

“I used to do it mostly to increase the intensity of the workout, but now I do it mostly to prevent bone loss,” Dr. Curci said. “With women you’ve got to watch that spine.”

Several small studies of post-menopausal women who wore weighted vests while doing exercises such as jumping or climbing stairs increased bone density.

Some of the same benefits can be obtained by carrying weights in your hands when you walk, jog, or climb stairs. But, said Dr. Prisk, “one of the nice things about a vest is it hugs your body. It’s much safer than weights in your hands or ankles in that it keeps it close to your body.”

Although they’re safer, there are some risks with vests if they fit poorly or you use too much weight. For beginners, a vest that adds about 3 percent of body weight is recommended. It shouldn’t ever weigh more than 15 percent of body weight.