Mechanical loading during physical activity produces strains within bones. It is thought that these forces provide the stimulus for the adaptation of bone. Tibial strains and rates of strain were measured in vivo in six subjects during running, stationary bicycling, leg presses and stepping and were compared with those of walking, an activity which has been found to have only a minimal effect on bone mass. Running had a statistically significant higher principal tension, compression and shear strain and strain rates than walking. Stationary bicycling had significantly lower tension and shear strains than walking. If bone strains and/or strain rates higher than walking are needed for tibial bone strengthening, then running is an effective strengthening exercise for tibial bone.