Skip to content

Because we’re obviously about living life to the fullest around here, we thought that this new study was interesting. We know that being physically active has a multitude of benefits, but did you know that it can actually help prevent disability in those who have or who are at risk of joint conditions? That’s what researchers published Monday in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine. They monitored participants in the Osteoarthritis Initiative — a large, multisite study on knee osteoarthritis — who were at increased risk of disability because of lower-extremity symptoms, from 2008 to 2014.

In this study, they found that adults with symptoms such as pain, aching, or stiffness in their lower-extremity joints who get at least one hour of moderate to vigorous exercise every week are less likely to develop a relative disability after four years compared to those who don’t get enough exercise.

The lead author, Dorothy D. Dunlap, explains that they “focused on adults with pain, aching or stiffness in lower [hip, knee, ankle, foot] joints because they are at elevated risk for developing disability.” The patients, ages 49-83, already had lower-extremity joint issues, but they were deemed free of disability at the onset of the study. They reported having no problems with their daily activities such as walking across a room or getting dressed. The participants were also defined as “having a gait, or walking, speed of at least one meter per second.”

They monitored their physical activity and the participants were interviewed every other year for four years. The results showed that the ones who got at least 56 minutes of moderate to vigorous exercise in a week, were 86% less likely to become mobility-disabled than those who got less exercise.

For those with arthritis, the inflammation of joints, or osteoarthritis, the most common type of arthritis that occurs with aging and excessive use of joints and affects  more than 30 million Americans, The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends 150 minutes per week of moderate exercise.

Whether you are a hard-hitting go-getter or an easy-breezy, laid back kind of person, the takeaway from this is “use it or lose it!” Go out and live! Be active! Go enjoy life! Take a walk. Go for a hike. Dance in your living room. Just DO SOMETHING and BE AWESOME at living your life.