Astronauts reported the highest participation in running and weightlifting as compared to comparison participants and the general population. The most striking difference between the astronauts and the other two groups was in running, where about two thirds of the astronauts reported participating, whereas more than one third of the comparison participants and only about a tenth of the general population did. Astronauts reported higher participation in the more vigorous activities of running and weightlifting than the comparison participants or the general population. The comparison participants appeared to have a similar pattern with the general population in the types of exercise they participated in, albeit with higher participation percentages.
Female astronauts (N=31) participated more in running and weightlifting than in walking. The female comparison participants (N=117) and the female general population (N=18,238) respondents showed a clear preference for walking over the other two activities.
Overall, LSAH participants reported higher participation in weight bearing exercises as compared to the general population, with astronauts having the highest rates. The difference between astronauts and comparison participants is to be expected as astronauts by definition need to maintain their health for mission readiness. Both astronauts and comparison participants therefore have a better chance of maintaining their bone density as they age as compared to the general population.
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