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Study: Regular Walking Benefits People Suffering from Osteoarthritis

May 1, 2019

Osteoarthritis of the knee affects up to 40 percent of all Americans over the age of 70. It’s a debilitating condition because there is no cure – treatment consists of painkillers and knee surgery.

However, Hammonton Center for Rehabilitation and Nursing wants to shed light on a new study is providing hope to those suffering from the most common form of arthritis in the country.

According to research by the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, seniors suffering from osteoarthritis of the knee can reduce their chances of becoming physically disabled by walking at least an hour per week.

The study followed 1,500 seniors experiencing aches and pains in their lower extremities due to osteoarthritis over the course of four years.

While no one in the study had any disability when it started, 24 percent of those who did not walk for at least an hour per week had trouble performing their regular daily tasks and could not cross the street in time before the traffic light changed.

Those who did get an hour of exercise per week fared much better. Their risk of mobility-related disability is cut by 85 percent, while the risk of daily living disability was down nearly 45 percent.

Dorothy Dunlop, Ph.D., is the lead author of the study. She is encouraged by the fact that only an hour per week of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (like brisk walking) seemed to keep people able to function on their own. Current government guidelines state seniors should partake in 2.5 hours of exercise per week to maintain their health.

“We hope this new public health finding will motivate an intermediate physical activity goal,” explained Prof. Dunlop. “One hour a week is a stepping stone for people who are currently inactive. People can start to work toward that.”

To learn more about Hammonton Center for Nursing and Rehabilitation and all of the services they offer, visit http://centershealthcare.com/hammonton_center/.


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