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Walking May Limit Knee Osteoarthritis Risks

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Daily walks can decrease the risks associated with developing knee osteoarthritis (OA), according to a study carried out by scientists from Boston University in Massachusetts. Findings from the report show that taking 6,000 or more steps on a daily basis may safeguard individuals from developing mobility issues such as having difficulty getting up from a chair or climbing stairs.

The study´s aim was to find out whether increased walking leads to improved functioning and how much walking is required so that knee OA and mobility risks in individuals are reduced if this is the case, in the words of Daniel White, doctor of science at Sargent College, Boston University.

The research took into account the daily steps of 1,788 people with or at risk of developing knee OA. Their walking routines were measured for seven days, using a monitor. After two years the scientists examined the degree of functional limitations of the sample.

The results showed that the effort of making an additional 1,000 steps daily reduced the risk of functional limitations by 16% to 18%. The study also proved that just 6,000 steps per day are enough for individuals to feel the benefits of this activity.

People who are at risk of developing knee OA are encouraged to take a minimum of 3,000 steps daily, Dr. White advised. Individuals should gradually increase their walking to 6,000 steps per day, so that the risk of mobility difficulties is reduced, the scientist added.