Health, Zoomer Report

Arthritis and Exercise

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If you have arthritis, you’re in good company. More than 4 and a half million Canadians are affected. Now a study finds that just a little physical activity seems to go a long way. If you’re a Zoomer with arthritis-related joint pain and stiffness you need to keep moving to remain functionally independent. I have arthritis in my knees and I swear by the healing power of exercise. But the study out of Northwestern university in the US found that only 10 percent of older Americans with this condition meet federal guidelines of at least 150 minutes of moderate activity a week. The good news: researchers found that doing even one-third of that is still beneficial.

The study involved more than 1,600 adults 49 or older who had arthritic pain or stiffness in their hips, knees or feet.

Researchers found that those who did a minimum of 45 minutes of moderate activity like brisk walking every week were 80 percent more likely to improve or maintain physical function and gait speed over two years, compared with those who did less activity.

The bottom line: for sedentary arthritis sufferers 45 minutes a week may be a more realistic goal and even a little activity is better than none. The study is published in Arthritis Care & Research.

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