Walking May Reduce Functional Limitation in Osteoarthritis
(HealthDay News) — For individuals with or at risk of knee osteoarthritis, walking is associated with reduced incidence of functional limitation over two years, according to a study published in the September issue of Arthritis Care & Research.
Daniel K. White, PT, ScD, from Boston University, and colleagues examined whether walking on its own protects against the development of functional limitation in a cohort of 1,788 people (mean age, 67 years) with or at risk of knee osteoarthritis. Walking was measured as steps per day over seven days, and the correlation between steps per day at baseline and developing functional limitation two years later was assessed.
The researchers found that each additional 1,000 steps per day correlated with a 16 and 18% reduction in incident functional limitation, based on performance-based and self-report measures, respectively. The best thresholds to distinguish incident functional limitation were <6,000 steps per day for performance-based measures (sensitivity, 67.3%; specificity, 71.8%) and <5,900 steps per day for self-report measures (sensitivity, 58.7%; specificity, 68.9%).
"Walking >6,000 steps per day provides a preliminary estimate of the level of walking activity to protect against developing functional limitation in people with or at risk of knee osteoarthritis," the authors write.