Light Exercises: Key Ingredient To Preventing Osteoarthritis

Middle-aged people who are deemed to be at risk of developing osteoarthritis may benefit from taking consistent, light exercise, scientists say.

According to a study presented at the annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America, light exercises may be able to delay or prevent the disease by simply changing their level of physical activity.

Researches claimed that light exercises like walking and short jogging may prevent osteoarthritis, a degenerative joint ailment that causes pain, inflammation, and inflexibility. In some instances, patients suffering from severe hip osteoarthritis would seek hip replacement surgery to ease their agony. However, complications arise from the hip implant devices used such as inflammation, pain, and metal poisoning, leading to the recall of Stryker hip implant devices, one of the leading brands of metal-on-metal implants.

Good thing that problems like these may be prevented by doing light exercises. Not only an avoidance of osteoarthritis, it can also help minimize stress, worry and blood pressure. It is also beneficial for people who are seeking to lose weight.

The study involved 132 people at risk for osteoarthritis who were enrolled in the National Institutes of Health Osteoarthritis Initiative, as well as 33 people of similar ages and weight who were not at risk.

The researchers headed by Keegan Hovis, a registered nurse of the University of California at San Francisco, split participants into three exercise levels:

Sedentary: watching TV, reading, or other sitting activities more than two hours a day, two or more days a week.

Light exercisers: walking, playing darts, Frisbee or other light activities two or more hours a day, three or more days a week.

Modest to exhausting exercisers: running, cycling, or other moderate to strenuous sports more than an hour a day, three or more days a week.

Among people with osteoarthritis risk factors, MRI scans displayed that light exercisers had the smallest amount of cartilage damage.

“It can be postulated that light exercise is protective against osteoarthritis” in these individuals, Hovis said.

However, frequent knee bending, climbing 10 or more flights of stairs per day or kneeling for 30 or more minutes a day, for example was associated with more damaged cartilage in people with or without osteoarthritis risk factors.

The more light exercise you do, the better the health benefits. Exercising 30 minutes a day, three times a week will have good quality impact on your health. If you cannot do it constantly, it would still be useless.

Jessica Shurman is a professional medical researcher, covering news about hip replacement operations. Her recent articles talk about Stryker-related problems. If you want to know more, you may check out Stryker hip replacement recall at

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