Date of Last Revision

2023-05-02 18:57:51



Degree Name

Bachelor of Science

Date of Expected Graduation

Spring 2016


Total and Regional BMD Comparison of Collegiate Male and Female Athletes


INTRODUCTION: Physiological and biomechanical demands of different sports have varying effects on the athletes that play them. For example, previous studies have shown that runners and swimmers can have lower bone mineral density (BMD) than athletes in ball sports or inactive controls. PURPOSE: To quantify and compare BMD in athletes to better understand how certain sport specific exercise promotes bone acquisition. METHODS: Fifty one (N=51) NCAA Division I athletes (18-25 yrs) had a whole body DXA scan performed to quantify total body BMD and segmental BMD. Fifteen (n=15) male and 36 female (n=36) athletes who participate in soccer, middle distance running events, and swimming were scanned. RESULTS: Women’s swimming (0.912 g/cm2) was found to have higher BMD in the arms than women’s endurance running (.828 g/cm2). Women’s soccer (1.427 g/cm2 and 1.356 g/cm2) had a higher BMD in the legs and pelvis than the women swimmers (1.293 g/cm2 and 1.228 g/cm2) and higher pelvis BMD than the women’s endurance runners (1.221 g/cm2). CONCLUSION: The results from the current study demonstrated that running may have a slight benefit in women athlete’s BMD and that swimmers may have a higher arm BMD than female runners. Of note is that the sport involving multi-planar, multi-speed directional forces (women’s soccer) demonstrated the densest bones in the lower body in comparison to the other sports.

Research Sponsor

Dr. Holda

First Reader

Dr. Otterstetter

Second Reader

Rachele Kappler



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