Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Knee osteoarthritis: When you can't walk fast enough to cross busy streets

Date:
January 20, 2011
Source:
Northwestern University
Summary:
When a traffic light at a busy intersection flashes the "walk" sign, people with knee osteoarthritis worry if they can walk fast enough to make it across the street in time. New research shows people with this common arthritis are more likely to walk fast enough, if they lead physically active lives. Knee osteoarthritis is a leading cause of disability in adults. As it progresses, it can threaten an individual's ability to live independently.

When a traffic light at a busy intersection flashes the WALK sign, people with knee osteoarthritis worry they can't walk fast enough to make it across the street in time. New Northwestern Medicine research shows people with this common arthritis are more likely to walk fast enough if they lead physically active lives.

"The more active people are, the faster they can walk," said Dorothy Dunlop, associate professor of medicine at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine and lead author of the study. "This is strong evidence that even a small increase in activity is related to better walking function. The bar for improvement isn't that high. This should motivate people to get moving, even if they have pain or stiffness."

The study is published in the January issue of Arthritis & Rheumatism.

Knee osteoarthritis is a leading cause of disability in adults. As it progresses, it can threaten an individual's ability to live independently. Maintaining function and independent living is an important goal for the more than 27 million U.S. adults with osteoarthritis.

"This study provides encouragement for people who are on the low end of the physical activity spectrum to increase their physical activity," said Dunlop, a health services researcher who also is with the Institute for Healthcare Studies at Feinberg. "You don't have to be in the top physical activity group before you start to see improvements in your walking speed."

Physical activity produces big benefits for people with knee osteoarthritis. In addition to improving the ability to walk, physical activity also promotes healthy joint cartilage and reduces pain, depression and fatigue, Dunlop noted.

Federal guidelines recommend adults with arthritis should participate in at least 2.5 hours a week of moderate intensity, low-impact activity in sessions lasting 10 minutes or more. Even if people can't meet these levels, Dunlop said they should be as physically active as possible.

The Osteoarthritis Initiative, an observational study, surveyed 2,500 participants with knee osteoarthritis. Participants filled out self-reported questionnaires about their physical activity at sites in Columbus, Ohio, Baltimore, Md., Providence, R.I., and Pittsburgh, Pa.

Researchers divided participants into four physical activity groups, from lowest to highest, using a general activity score. In the lowest physical activity group, less than half, or 49 percent, walked fast enough to cross the street before the light changed. (Traffic lights generally allow a walking speed of four feet per second.) In the next three higher physical activity groups, 63 percent, 71 percent and 81 percent, respectively, walked fast enough to cross the street.

The study was sponsored by the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Northwestern University. The original article was written by Marla Paul. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Dorothy D. Dunlop, Jing Song, Pamela A. Semanik, Leena Sharma, Rowland W. Chang. Physical activity levels and functional performance in the osteoarthritis initiative: A graded relationship. Arthritis & Rheumatism, 2011; 63 (1): 127 DOI: 10.1002/art.27760

Cite This Page:

Northwestern University. "Knee osteoarthritis: When you can't walk fast enough to cross busy streets." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 20 January 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/01/110118143218.htm>.
Northwestern University. (2011, January 20). Knee osteoarthritis: When you can't walk fast enough to cross busy streets. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/01/110118143218.htm
Northwestern University. "Knee osteoarthritis: When you can't walk fast enough to cross busy streets." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/01/110118143218.htm (accessed August 21, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Possible Ebola Patient in Isolation at California Hospital

Possible Ebola Patient in Isolation at California Hospital

Reuters - US Online Video (Aug. 20, 2014) — A patient who may have been exposed to the Ebola virus is in isolation at the Kaiser Permanente South Sacramento Medical Center. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: World's Oldest Man Lives in Japan

Raw: World's Oldest Man Lives in Japan

AP (Aug. 20, 2014) — A 111-year-old Japanese was certified as the world's oldest man by Guinness World Records on Wednesday. Sakari Momoi, a native of Fukushima in northern Japan, was given a certificate at a hospital in Tokyo. (Aug. 20) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Do More Wedding Guests Make A Happier Marriage?

Do More Wedding Guests Make A Happier Marriage?

Newsy (Aug. 20, 2014) — A new study found couples who had at least 150 guests at their weddings were more likely to report being happy in their marriages. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola-Hit Sierra Leone's Freetown a City on Edge

Ebola-Hit Sierra Leone's Freetown a City on Edge

AFP (Aug. 19, 2014) — Residents of Sierra Leone's capital voice their fears as the Ebola virus sweeps through west Africa. Duration: 00:56 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins