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Make no bones about it, World Osteoporosis Day on October 20, is the time to learn about osteoporosis. Celebrate good health and educate yourself and others about the value of taking care of your body and protecting your bones and muscles from disabling and life-threatening fractures.
History of World Osteoporosis Day
World Osteoporosis Day (WOD) is the annual highpoint of activities sponsored by the International Osteoporosis Foundation (IOF), which is deeply involved in educating the public about this devastating bone disease. Osteoporosis renders bones so frail and brittle that any slight action including even a sneeze or a fall can be life-threatening, causing never-ending pain and discomfort from entire bone breaks and fractures.
World Osteoporosis Day began in the United Kingdom. With support by the European Commission, World Osteoporosis Day became a project of the National Osteoporosis Society in the United Kingdom on October 20, 1996.
It’s interesting to note that prior to 1994, osteoporosis wasn’t even considered a major disease. But in 1998, two prominent organizations committed to educating the public about osteoporosis, combined to create the International Osteoporosis Foundation.
The founding of the IOF was a combination of the joint efforts of the European Foundation for Osteoporosis (EFFO) created in 1987 and the International Federation of Societies on Skeletal Diseases (IFSSD), which was initiated in 1995. By bringing both organizations together under a single umbrella, there was a better focus and a co-mingling of resources for the world’s scientists, doctors and other health advocacy organizations who were fighting osteoporosis.
By the late 90s, the UN’s World Health Organization (WHO) co-sponsored World Osteoporosis Day events with the IOF. Since that time, the IOF has taken over much of the leadership in sponsoring awareness-raising events all over the world.
One of the most important events for WOD is checking bone density. Bones that are less dense are more liable to easily break or fracture at sudden movement or during minor falls. These bone density tests are available on WOD all over the world. But there are events taking place globally that not only raise awareness but are all just plain fun! To find out more, log onto the IOF website.
World Osteoporosis Day timeline
The National Osteoporosis Society celebrates raising awareness about osteoporosis in the UK on October 20.
The International Osteoporosis Foundation is formed when the European Foundation for Osteoporosis and the International Federation of Societies on Skeletal Diseases combine.
The IOF initiates another global campaign that focuses on avoiding secondary bone fractures.
The IOF launches an osteoporosis awareness campaign to over a million of its members with a “Love Your Bones e-newsletter.”
World Osteoporosis Day FAQs
Does osteoporosis get worse with time?
The primary culprit for osteoporosis is the spinal compression fracture. It can get worse if you are in motion, like walking, running or standing.
Is osteoporosis reversible?
You can’t reverse osteoporosis but with the right treatments, you can slow down its effects.
Can osteoporosis shorten your life expectancy?
With better treatments for newly-diagnosed patients suffering from osteoporosis, women under age 75 and men under age 60 can expect to live an extra 15 years.
How to Observe World Osteoporosis Day
Wear your whites
To celebrate and bring awareness to World Osteoporosis Day, make sure to wear all white in honor of the occasion. Wearing all white is one way to draw some attention to the day and start a conversation with someone about it.
Be proactive on World Osteoporosis Day and take a bone density test. Find out about your osteoporosis risk factors (if any) and learn what you can do to prevent them. If you haven’t been doing so before, commit to a healthy diet, take your vitamins and start an exercise routine to help your body stay strong and fracture-free.
Spread the word
World Osteoporosis Day doesn’t work if you keep it to yourself. Make sure you tell others about how important bone health is through social media, conversation, or even a blog post about your own experiences. Helping others understand their risk will give everyone the opportunity to live their longest, healthiest lives.
Why World Osteoporosis Day is Important
Understanding your risk is key
Using World Osteoporosis Day to discuss your risk factors is one of the many reasons for the day. People are living longer today than ever before because of medical innovations. That’s why you want to have the best quality of life possible as you age. Getting educated on your risk factors is a big step in osteoporosis prevention.
Getting tested can save a life
Using World Osteoporosis Day to understand what your bones do in the body and all the ways you can keep them strong can save your life. Use this day to talk to professionals about the best way to strengthen your body or to begin treatments if necessary.
Start strong, live strong
You don’t have to be a weightlifter to have healthy bones. Learn what foods add to bone density and what daily practices to have so that you live your best life on World Osteoporosis Day and all the days to come.
World Osteoporosis Day dates