Randomised controlled trials (RCTs), cross-sectional and prospective studies that used peripheral quantitative computed tomography (pQCT) alone or with other imaging techniques to assess the effects of exercise training or physical activity on bone mass and geometry in postmenopausal women. The outcomes of interest were bone mass and geometry findings by pQCT and dual energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) where available.
Most of the studies included postmenopausal women between the ages of 50 and 71 years. The women were Asian, European and North American. Where reported, time since menopause ranged from less than 10 years to 29 years. Mean body mass index (BMI) was less than 30kg/m2 in all included studies. Exercise programmes varied in frequency (from two to five times/week), duration (50 to 100 minutes), training period (six to 12 months) and type of exercise (included high-impact bone loading exercise, low-impact weight bearing exercise, resistance training, balance and agility exercises). The lower limbs were targeted in most of the programmes. All of the participants had no prior history of exercise. Bone mass and geometry measures were made using a variety of machines and tibia and/or radius was assessed.
Two reviewers independently selected studies for inclusion. Disagreements were resolved by discussion.