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Are You Fit to a T?

Do you know your...Blood pressure?  Cholesterol level?  Weight?  T-score?

That's right, T-score. If you had to think twice about what a T-score is - and no, it's not a golf term - chances are you are not alone.

"Fit to a T" is the USBJI's response to the Surgeon General's first-ever report on bone health and osteoporosis. In partnership with the Public Library Association and the National Network of Libraries of Medicine this education program is called "Fit to a T" because the T-score is the measure of a person's bone density and susceptibility to fragility fracture.

Osteoporosis is the most prevalent bone condition among Americans with nearly one in two women, and one in four men, likely to suffer from it in their lifetime. Osteoporosis is debilitating, reducing a person's freedom of movement, and leads to high incidences of hip and spine fractures. Prevention education is essential to lowering the burden of disease.

Although relevant and applicable to people of all ages, the program is especially aimed at men and women in the mid-40s to late 60s, as well as people who are highly susceptible to osteoporotic fractures or have experienced a break.  The goal is to reach people before they have a fracture, so they can take necessary steps to prevent bone disease and make changes in their lives to alter the course of the condition.

Education sessions are conducted at local public libraries, community centers, health/fitness clubs, senior centers, or at local corporations.  The one-hour program - aimed at the general public - focuses on bone health, osteoporosis, how to avoid fragility fractures, and provides information needed to make informed decisions on bone health.

At each session, a healthcare professional and occasionally a patient will team up to present the program.  The session features a PowerPoint presentation, collateral materials, discussion, and a question/ answer period.  The Fit to a T booklet, a risk assessment sheet, the Surgeon's General's "What it Means to You," plus resource materials are distributed to participants.

Click here to view upcoming sessions.

Click here to view How To Schedule a Session.

Click on the menu links above to view What You Need to Know About Your Bone Health and other tips and resources.

Program Goals

The USBJI through this public education program is working with communities to generate awareness and understanding of these important issues and to help reduce the approximately 2 million fractures that occur each year in this country as a result of low bone mass.

Specifically, we want session participants to:

  • Learn to assess their living environment and fracture risk.
  • Understand the basics of lifelong bone health.
  • Be able to discuss bone health issues with their healthcare professional.
  • Learn to identify quality consumer health information.
  • Be encouraged to discuss these issues with family, friends and colleagues of all ages.

Key Messages

  • Osteoporosis and other bone diseases are debilitating. They can cause pain, loss of mobility and independence, deformity and mortality (contributing to a poor quality of life)
  • The disorder affects men and women of all races and ages (it doesn't just affect women)
  • Information-gathering skills and prevention can help alter the course of the disease (it's never too early or too late to make changes)
  • Americans can have strong bones and live healthy, independent and productive lives (through better awareness and education)

Background on Osteoporosis

Osteoporosis is the most prevalent bone condition among Americans. Nearly one in two women, and one in four men, likely to suffer from it. Osteoporosis doesn't hurt but can be debilitating or disabling due to the high incidence of broken bones in people with low bone mass. Prevention education is essential to lowering the number of people with low bone mass and broken bones.

The Surgeon General's Report on bone health and osteoporosis, released in 2004, is the first-ever such Report on this topic. Reports by the Surgeon General, America's chief health educator, have always played a critical role in promoting good health and safety. These reports identify relevant scientific data, rigorously evaluate and summarize the evidence, then determine conclusions. The Report serves as a starting point for concentrated national action to understand, prevent, diagnose, and treat bone diseases. Osteoporosis and low bone mass are the most common diseases of bone. Ten million Americans over the age of 50 have osteoporosis, and another 34 million are at risk for developing it.  Each year, roughly 2 million people suffer a broken bone related to osteoporosis, frequently after minimal trauma.  By 2020, half or all American citizens older than 50 will be at risk for fractures from osteoporosis and low bone mass if no immediate action is taken be everyone, including the general public, healthcare professionals, health systems, and policymakers.