Basketball Better for Building Stronger Bones in Youth Athletes Than Track

The following is excerpted from an online article posted by StudyFinds.

According to a recent study, youth athletes who play multidirectional sports like basketball, instead of unidirectional sports like track, are able to build stronger bones that decrease their risk of bone injury in adulthood.

The findings are in line with other recommendations that say that younger children should play a variety of sports that require them to move in various directions, then wait until they’re older to switch to a sport that they want to hone in on. By then, they’re more likely to have a stronger structural foundation, which supports less risk of stress injury.

“There is a common misperception that kids need to specialize in a single sport to succeed at higher levels. However, recent data indicate that athletes who specialize at a young age are at a greater risk of an overuse injury and are less likely to progress to higher levels of competition,” says Stuart Warden, associate dean for research and Chancellor’s Professor in the Indiana University School of Health and Human Sciences, in a statement.

In this study, Warden and team used high-resolution imaging to assess the shin bone by the ankle and bones in the feet, where bone stress injuries often are found in runners. They discovered that athletes who did running as well as multidirectional sports had 10-20% stronger bones than those who just ran.

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[reposted by] Jim Liebelt

Jim is Senior Writer, Editor and Researcher for HomeWord. Jim has 40 years of experience as a youth and family ministry specialist, having served over the years as a pastor, author, consultant, mentor, trainer, college instructor, and speaker. Jim’s HomeWord culture blog also appears on and Jim and his wife Jenny live in Quincy, MA.

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