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Even a Little Exercise Can Help With Arthritis, Study Says
Just 45 minutes a week was related to better physical functioning among older adults

By Robert Preidt

TUESDAY, Jan. 31, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Just a little physical activity seems to go a long way toward helping older adults with arthritis remain able to do daily tasks, a new study finds.

Older adults with arthritis-related joint pain and stiffness need to keep moving to remain functionally independent. But only 10 percent of older Americans with arthritis in their knees meet federal guidelines of at least 150 minutes of moderate activity a week, the researchers said.

However, this Northwestern University study found that doing even about one-third of that amount 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.

Those who did a minimum of 45 minutes of moderate activity -- such as brisk walking -- a week were 80 percent more likely to improve or sustain physical function and gait speed over two years, compared with those who did less activity, the researchers found.

"Even a little activity is better than none," said study first author Dorothy Dunlop.

"For those older people suffering from arthritis who are minimally active, a 45-minute minimum might feel more realistic," said Dunlop, a professor of rheumatology and preventive medicine at Northwestern's School of Medicine in Chicago.

She said the federal guidelines are important because the more you do, the better you'll feel and the greater the health benefits.

"But even achieving this less rigorous goal will promote the ability to function and may be a feasible starting point for older adults dealing with discomfort in their joints," Dunlop said in a university news release.

The study was published online recently in the journal Arthritis Care & Research.

More information

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has more on arthritis.

SOURCE: Northwestern University, news release, Jan. 19, 2017

Copyright © 2017 HealthDay. All rights reserved. URL:http://consumer.healthday.com/Article.asp?AID=718939

Resources from HONselect: HONselect is the HON's medical search engine. It retrieves scientific articles, images, conferences and web sites on the selected subject.
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Disclaimer: The text presented on this page is not a substitute for professional medical advice. It is for your information only and may not represent your true individual medical situation. Do not hesitate to consult your healthcare provider if you have any questions or concerns. Do not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease without consulting a qualified healthcare professional.
Be advised that HealthDay articles are derived from various sources and may not reflect your own country regulations. The Health On the Net Foundation does not endorse opinions, products, or services that may appear in HealthDay articles.


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