Short, Brisk Walks Reduce Knee Osteoarthritis Related Disability: Study

An hour of exercise a week associated with huge reductions in future disability, researchers found
By Emily Lunardo
Emily Lunardo
Emily Lunardo
April 11, 2019 Updated: April 11, 2019

Short, brisk walks help to reduce knee osteoarthritis-related disability. Osteoarthritis is a common form of arthritis and is most commonly experienced in the knees.

Osteoarthritis is often referred to as a wear-and-tear type of arthritis because cartilage which is found in between joints wears away through repetitive use. Once this cartilage wears away, it cannot be brought back.

There is currently no cure for osteoarthritis. Symptoms can be managed using painkillers and surgery is available if the disease is advanced.

The latest study involved participants who tracked their movement over the course of four years. The researchers aimed to determine what kind of activity would help prevent disability.

The study found that one hour a week of moderate-to-vigorous activity helped participants ward off disability.

An hour per week of exercise was also associated with a reduced risk of mobility-disability by 85 percent and daily disability by 45 percent.

At the end of the study, 24 percent of participants who did not engage in exercise were so slow that they were unable to cross a street in the time of a traffic signal. Twenty-three percent reported that they couldn’t complete regular morning routines.

It is recommended that seniors engage in at least two and a half hours of physical activity a week to help reduce the risk of chronic disease. This may be challenging for seniors who live in pain. That is why the goal of at least one hour a week is something more attainable and can still provide benefits.

Emily Lunardo studied medical sociology at York University with a strong focus on the social determinants of health and mental illness. This article was first published on

Emily Lunardo
Emily Lunardo