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Large Joints Feature

Source: Wikimedia Commons

6, 000 Steps Per Day Helps With Knee OA

Elizabeth Hofheinz, M.P.H., M.Ed. • Mon, June 16th, 2014

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Researchers from Boston University have found that walking reduces the risk of functional limitation associated with knee osteoarthritis (OA). The study, in part funded by the NIH (National Institutes of Health), was just published in Arthritis Care & Research.

The researchers measured the daily steps taken by nearly 2, 000 people with—or at risk for—knee OA. All participants were part of the Multicenter Osteoarthritis Study; each person had his or her walking measured for seven days and their functional limitation evaluated two years later.

The results showed that walking at least 6, 000 steps per day could protect those with or at risk of knee OA from having mobility issues. “Our study examines if more walking equates with better functioning, and if so, how much daily walking is needed to minimize risk of developing problems with mobility in people with knee OA, ” said Daniel White, PT, Sc.D. in the June 12, news release. Dr. White is from Sargent College at Boston University in Massachusetts.

Dr. White added, “Walking is an inexpensive activity and despite the common popular goal of walking 10, 000 steps per day, our study finds only 6, 000 steps are necessary to realize benefits. We encourage those with or at risk of knee OA to walk at least 3, 000 or more steps each day, and ultimately progress to 6, 000 steps daily to minimize the risk of developing difficulty with mobility.”

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