May is National Osteoporosis Month! We hope you will help us celebrate by taking the #JumpingJackChallenge. We issued this challenge to raise awareness about building bone strength and density when you’re younger to achieve peak bone mass and to maintain bone health and strength as you age.

Accepting the Jumping Jack Challenge is easy – videotape yourself, your kids, family or friends doing 10 jumping jacks in less than 10 seconds. Share the video via your social media page with the hashtag #JumpingJackChallenge and challenge your friends to do it too – or they should make a donation to NOF at www.nof.org. You can learn more and see an example on this page of our website: https://www.nof.org/about-us/building-awareness/national-osteoporosis-month/. Please remember that if you have osteoporosis you shouldn’t do jumping jacks, but you can do “stepping jacks” (step side-to-side raising your arms above your heard as you would for jumping jacks). This is a safe way for everyone to take part in the Jumping Jack Challenge!

You might wonder why we chose jumping jacks for this challenge. As noted above, we hope to raise awareness about building peak bone mass in children and adolescents. Peak bone mass is the greatest amount of bone an individual can attain. We reach our peak bone mass between 25-30 years of age. Focusing on bone health in children and adolescents is not just about growing strong bones, it also may help strengthen the concept of disease prevention over treatment. Most children do not consume the necessary amounts of nutrients needed to sustain strong bones during the key bone-building years of 9-18. In fact, a quarter of childhood injuries include fractures that could have been prevented through better nutrition.

Prevention of osteoporosis later in life begins in childhood with a strong health curriculum that teaches children healthy lifestyle choices including about proper diet and exercise.

I recently surveyed the community including educators and health leaders to determine if they think a curriculum including bone health is important to implement in schools and more than 75% said yes! Check out the following infographic to learn how you can incorporate bone healthy behaviors with your children or grandchildren before, during or after school.

We hope to see your posts on social media for the #JumpingJackChallenge!

Andrea Portillo, MPH, CHES®
Marketing, Consumer & Professional Education Manager
National Osteoporosis Foundation