An hour of daily walking is linked to improved mobility in arthritis patients
Knee arthritis may make everyday activities—climbing stairs or getting up from a chair—difficult, but a new study finds walking an hour a day may improve the condition. Walking builds flexibility and muscle strength as well as reduces arthritis pain.
“People with or at risk for knee arthritis should be walking around 6,000 steps per day, and the more walking one does the less risk of developing functioning difficulties,” says Daniel White, a research assistant professor in the department of physical therapy and athletic training at Boston University and the study’s lead author.
According to the National Institutes of Health, about 27 million American adults have osteoarthritis, and 80 percent of them suffer joint pain, stiffness and limited mobility.
Though other research recommends taking 10,000 steps a day, researchers for this study were looking for the fewest steps arthritis sufferers could take that would help them remain mobile. “People usually average 100 steps per minute while they walk, so (6,000 steps) is roughly walking an hour a day,” White says. And, he adds, every step counts. “If you wear a pedometer and get up to 6,000 steps, you’re in good shape.”