The one-minute trick for better bone health

How often do you use time as an excuse not to exercise?

If you’re like most people, probably too often.

You figure if you can’t do a full-blown thirty to sixty minute workout, you should just forget it altogether.

But, you shouldn’t, and I’ll tell you why….

Even if you can only squeeze in a short, stationary jog between meetings or a few burpees before bed, you’ll experience health benefits. In fact, the latest study shows that every minute you move counts… especially when it comes to your bone health.

A minute of movement helps your bones

Researchers from the University of Exeter and the University of Leicester found that women who did short spurts of high-intensity, weight-bearing exercise reaped measurable bone benefits.

More specifically, women who did one to two minutes of high-intensity, weight-bearing activity every day had four percent better bone health than those who did less than a minute per day. And women who did more than two minutes per day had six percent better bone health.

The study included data from 2,500 women. Researchers examined the data, looking closely at how activity levels impacted bone health. Every minute of activity made a difference. And this isn’t the first study that shows that…

Previous research shows that short bouts of exercise are even better for your bones than long, continuous workouts. And a study published last year showed that exercising as hard as you can for one minute has similar health benefits as exercising more moderately for 45 minutes.

That means, when you pass up a hidden pocket of time when you can actually exercise (even if it’s just a few minutes), you’re passing up a golden opportunity to get better bones and ultimately better health.

No more excuses…

Hopefully, this study will put an end to using time as an excuse not exercise. In just a few minutes per day, you could have not only healthier bones but a healthier body in general.

Researchers suggest you do a high-intensity, weight-bearing activity whenever you have a free moment. In the study, pre-menopausal women did a medium-paced run and post-menopausal women did a slow jog.

But if you’re out-of-shape after putting exercise on the back burner for too long, you can also start by walking. Once you get the hang of walking more throughout the day, start adding a few running steps to your walk…like you’re trying to catch the bus.

Eventually, you can start jogging, running, doing jumping jacks, dancing or whatever high-intensity, weight-bearing activity sounds best to you.


  1. One minute of running per day associated with better bone health in women.” — MedicalXpress. Retrieved July 19, 2017.
  2. H Stiles, et al. “A small amount of precisely measured high-intensity habitual physical activity predicts bone health in pre- and post-menopausal women in UK Biobank.” — International Journal of Epidemiology, 2017.
  3. 1-Minute of All-Out Exercise May Have Benefits of 45 Minutes of Moderate Exercise.” — The New York Times Well Blog. Retrieved July 19, 2017.
Jenny Smiechowski

By Jenny Smiechowski

Jenny Smiechowski is a Chicago-based freelance writer who specializes in health, nutrition and the environment. Her work has appeared in online and print publications like Chicagoland Gardening magazine, Organic Lifestyle Magazine, BetterLife Magazine,, and