Led by researchers at Boston University in the US, the research evaluated data from 1,788 subjects to look at how physical activity can help to mitigate functional limitations associated with knee osteoarthritis.
Previously, it was unclear whether walking on its own protects against the development of functional limitation, so the team looked at walking rates over a seven-day period and examined how this impacted the health outcomes of the patients involved.
According to data published in the medical journal Arthritis Care & Research, the mean age of the subjects – 60 per cent of whom were women – was 67 years, with a mean body mass index of 31 kg per sq m.
It was revealed that each additional 1,000 steps per day was associated with a 16 per cent and 18 per cent reduction in incident functional limitation in performance-based and self-reported terms, respectively.
The researchers concluded: “More walking was associated with less risk of functional limitation over two years. Walking more than 6,000 steps per day provides a preliminary estimate of the level of walking activity to protect against developing functional limitation in people with or at risk of knee osteoarthritis.”
Osteoarthritis is a condition that affects the joints, causing inflammation, cartilage damage and the development of bony growths that lead to pain and disability. It is the most common type of arthritis in the UK, affecting more than eight million people.
A spokeswoman for Arthritis Research UK commented: “We very much welcome the results of this study, with which we completely concur. Brisk walking is a fantastic way of reducing the pain of osteoarthritis – as well as making people feel better, we’re currently looking at ways in which we can encourage more older people to take up walking as it’s something that just about everyone can do at some level.”
– See more at: http://www.arthritisresearchuk.org/news/general-news/2014/september/daily-walking-can-help-reduce-osteoarthritis-related-limitations.aspx#sthash.SeR6JKxZ.dpuf