Putting the right foot forward: Taking steps to prevent arthritis

June 17, 2014

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A new study has revealed that taking about 6,000 steps a day could prevent knee osteoarthritis.

A new study has revealed that taking about 6,000 steps a day could prevent knee osteoarthritis. The study, published in the Arthritis Care & Research Journal for the American College of Rheumatology, found that this amount of steps could serve as protection for those at risk of developing knee osteoarthritis, preventing inhibition toward activities like walking upstairs or exercising.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, over 50 million people are affected by arthritis, and 1 in 2 people will be affected by knee osteoarthritis in their lifetime. Those who have already suffered a knee injury are 57 percent more likely to develop knee osteoarthritis afterward. Osteoarthritis can hurt people's ability to work, and often can create the need for a total joint replacement.

The daily steps for over 1,788 people were measured by researchers over a seven-day period. Each participant either had knee osteoarthritis or was at risk for it at the time of the study. The participants were then re-evaluated two years later to measure their functioning levels.The study found that those who walked fewer than 6,000 steps daily were at a much higher risk of dealing with mobility issues. Those who walked at least 6,000 steps a day or more were 18 percent higher in their functioning abilities than predicted two years earlier. The researchers suggested getting to 6,000 steps gradually, perhaps starting around 3,000 steps and working from there.

It is universally agreed upon that completing moderate exercise daily is a good way to improve mobility and overall functioning for those who have arthritis. A good way of measuring how many steps a person walks a day is buying a pedometer, many of which are in the range of $15 to $35 dollars, according to Livestrong.com.

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