One Hour of Moderate Physical Activity May Help Reduce Risk of Mobility Loss
Approximately 1 in 5 adults in the United States report having doctor-diagnosed arthritis, and osteoarthrosis is the most prevalent type of arthritis affecting Americans. A recent study suggests that one hour per week of moderate to vigorous physical activity may decrease the risk of mobility loss by up to 85% in people with osteoarthritis.
Participants in the study included 1,500 adults who took part in the four-year, national Osteoarthrosis Initiative study. All the participants had pain, stiffness, or aching in lower extremity joints from osteoarthritis, but were free from disability at the start of the study. Physical activity was monitored using accelerometers.
One hour per week of brisk walking was found to reduce the risk of mobility disability, identified as walking too slowly to safely cross the street or less than one meter per second, by 85%. The risk of developing daily living disability, such as difficulty walking across a room, bathing, and dressing, was reduced by 45%.
After four years, 24% of participants who did not perform the weekly hour of physical activity, were walking too slowly to safely cross the street. 23% of them reported difficulty performing daily routine tasks.
The study was conducted by researchers at Northwestern University. It was published online ahead of print on March 19, 2019 in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.