An hour a week of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity may be enough to help prevent disability in people with knee osteoarthritis or other lower-extremity joint symptoms, according to an observational study of 1,564 people in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.
Most of the participants (ages 45 to 79) reported pain or stiffness of the knee or hip (smaller numbers had foot or ankle symptoms); none had physical disability to begin with. Disability was determined by slow walking speed and having limitations in daily activities.
Those who were moderately or vigorously active for at least 55 minutes a week, as recorded by an accelerometer worn for a week at the start, were significantly more likely to remain disability-free over the next four years than those who rarely were that active. That’s less than 10 minutes of brisk walking per day, on average. While federal physical activity guidelines advise at least 150 minutes of moderate activity (or 75 minutes of vigorous activity) per week, this lower target may “motivate inactive older adults to begin their path towards a physically active lifestyle,” the study concluded.
This article first appeared in the UC Berkeley Wellness Letter.
Also see Safe Workouts for Osteoarthritis?