This week VIVA! Communications teamed with Osteoporosis Australia to announce the much-loved TV personality and health and wellness coach, Michelle Bridges, as the organisation’s national Know Your Bones Ambassador, to help raise awareness of risk factors for poor bone health and the evidence-based tool.

Co-developed by Osteoporosis Australia and the Garvan Institute of Medical Research, The Know Your Bones online self-assessment tool aims to help Australian adults both understand and assess their potential risk for developing osteoporosis (or low bone density) and bone breaks, and to take action to protect their bones, given the more than 165,000 broken bones sustained each year due to unhealthy bones.

The tool assesses a person’s risk for poor bone health by reviewing their age, history of fracture, and medical and lifestyle factors, as well as providing an individual report which can be taken to the doctor, if required. Know Your Bones is based on research findings from the Garvan Institute’s longitudinal study of osteoporosis in Australia.

Renowned for motivating Australians to improve their health and wellbeing, Michelle is excited about raising community awareness of the importance of maintaining healthy bones.

“A bone is broken every 3.2 minutes in Australia. Taking action to understand your risk factors for poor bone health can help prevent many unwanted fractures.

“My message is simple. Your bone health is an important part of your overall health. So check your bone health today, by completing the Know Your Bones online assessment at knowyourbones.org.au,”
said Michelle.   

“If you find you have risk factors for poor bone health, then talk to your doctor.

“We should all take action to protect our bones,” Michelle said.

Taking preventative action can lead to early diagnosis and management of osteoporosis, and can help prevent unwanted fractures.

“We’re delighted Michelle Bridges is acting as our Know Your Bones Ambassador, to help raise community awareness of the importance of maintaining healthy bones.

“Poor bone health is common in Australia, and leads to broken bones. Preventing osteoporosis needs to be a higher priority. People should take action to understand their risk for the disease,” said CEO of Osteoporosis Australia, Greg Lyubomirsky, Sydney.

Know Your Bones is a simple first step to improving the community’s understanding of bone health, and when they may need to speak to their GP about managing their risks.”

An estimated 1.2 million Australians are living with osteoporosis and 6.3 million have low bone density.

Osteoporosis affects women and men, and occurs when bones lose density and quality, weakening the skeleton. Osteoporosis can affect any bone, and fractures occur most often in the hip, spine, wrist, ribs and pelvis.The disease can significantly compromise a person’s quality of life and independence.

Once a bone fractures due to osteoporosis, the risk of breaking another bone increases two-to-three fold in women and men.

Those wishing to understand and assess their potential risk for developing osteoporosis should head to www.knowyourbones.org.au to generate an individual  bone health report, and take the report to their doctor, if required, to discuss necessary action.