World Osteoporosis Day
annually on October 20th (since 1996)
World Osteoporosis Day takes place during Bone and Joint Action Week, along with World Arthritis Day, World Spine Day, World Trauma Day, and World Pediatric Bone and Joint Day. The week was created by the United States Bone and Joint Initiative to "improve prevention of bone and joint disorders, and the quality of life for those affected," and the day was organized by the International Osteoporosis Foundation. The day launches a year-long campaign to raise awareness globally about osteoporosis, so that people are made aware of ways to prevent, diagnose, and treat it and metabolic bone disease. Events take place in the months leading up to and following the day, and activities happen in about 90 countries.
One in three women and one in five men, over the age of 50, will experience fractures because of the disease. The disease can weaken bones to such an extent that a bump, sneeze, or sudden movement can cause a fracture. This can cause extreme pain, cause long-term disability, and even be life threatening. Even though there have been great medical advances, only a small minority of those with fractures receive treatment.
How to Observe
Celebrate the day by participating in an event. If there are no events in your area, you can create your own, or learn more about osteoporosis on your own. You could do this by exploring some other resources, or by looking at the United States Bone and Joint Initiative's Fit to a T public education program. Here are things you can do every day, and reflect on as you celebrate a day focused on bone health:
- exercise regularly
- eat a diet of bone healthy nutrients—calcium, vitamin D, and protein
- avoid negative lifestyle habits—avoid smoking and excessive drinking, and maintain a healthy weight
- find out if you are at risk and bring it to your doctor's attention
- get tested, and treated if needed—medication may be needed to protect against fractures