One in three women and one in five men will suffer a fracture as a consequence of low bone density.
But a challenge has been launched for World Osteoporosis Day to help gauge our resilience against osteoporosis.
It's a simple test to count how many times you can sit and stand in 30 seconds without using your hands.
It measures overall musculo-skeletal health, that researchers say is vital to preventing osteoporosis.
You start seated in a chair, then count how many times you can stand and sit, with arms folded, in half a minute. It's important to fully stand and fully sit at each repetition to get a good measure.
A healthy person with average fitness under 40 should be able to achieve a score of more than 19.
If you are over 40, you should be able to score 1-2 less than this for every decade beyond 40.
If you struggle, you may want to consult a health professional.
Fonterra Principal Research Scientist Linda Schollum says the challenge is not in a formal research setting, but launched as a fun and engaging way to raise awareness.
"The test is a bit of fun and anyone in reasonable health can do it. It's really valuable to test how well your body is faring."
Our bone density decreases as we grow older. When it drops below a certain level, bones become more fragile and can easily fracture.
Bone density peaks around the age of 30, so what we do in our youth can help prevent osteoporosis later.
"The world has become more aware of how muscles, joints and bones work together holistically,” says Dr Schollum. “Having plenty of calcium in our diets is vital for developing strong bones to keep osteoporosis at bay."
To help keep your bones healthy and slow down bone loss:
Find out more at http://osteoporosis.org.nz/.