Education Technology

NASA - Maintaining Bone Mineral Density

Published on 11/03/2011

Activity Overview

In this activity students perform an appropriate test to determine the answer to the question "Is using the iRED exercise method significantly better than using the treadmill and bicycle in maintaining bone density?"

Objectives

Students will:

  • construct a null and alternative hypothesis to compare the effectiveness of two countermeasures for maintaining bone density during prolonged space missions;
  • choose an appropriate hypothesis test;
  • check assumptions necessary to conduct the hypothesis test;
  • perform the hypothesis test; and
  • draw the correct conclusion based on the results of the test.

About the Lesson

One area in which the Biostatistics Laboratory contributes to NASA's Human Research Program is in the interpretation of astronauts' bone mineral density (BMD) data during long-duration spaceflights (typically of four to six months). A shift in gravitational environment causes changes in their bodies, including the loss of BMD. This is of specific concern for astronauts' health, especially when they return to Earth's gravity.

 

In this activity students perform an appropriate test to determine the answer to the question "Is using the iRED exercise method significantly better than using the treadmill and bicycle in maintaining bone density?"