A new study has found exercising for just one hour a week can reduce the risk of developing a disability in arthritis patients. Pain, aches, stiffness in the knee, ankle and feet are some of the symptoms of the condition.
"This is less than 10 minutes a day for people to maintain their independence. It's very doable," Dorothy Dunlop, a professor at Northwestern University in the US, told a news portal. Adding, "This minimum threshold may motivate inactive older adults to begin their path towards a physically active lifestyle with the wide range of health benefits promoted by physical activity."
The risk of developing a disability is extremely high for people with osteoarthritis. Two in five patients reportedly develop the condition. However, this study suggests performing a moderate exercise in a week can drastically reduce the risk, as well as help in performing daily tasks with much more ease.
For four years, researchers examined data of more than 1,500 adults in the national Osteoarthritis Initiative from Baltimore, Pittsburgh, Columbus and Pawtucket, Rhode Island. All the participants were osteoarthritis patients but had no issues with a disability when the study began. According to the results one hour of exercise a week, like brisk walking, decreased the risk of mobility disability by 85 per cent and daily living disability by close to 45 per cent. However, a follow-up on the results showed that those who stopped their weekly physical activity routine were walking very slowly and close to 23 per cent reported they had difficulty performing their regular morning routine.
According to guidelines, people with arthritis should perform some form of low-impact activity. Older adults should participate in a moderate-intensity activity for at least two hours to reduce the risk of heart diseases and chronic diseases.
"Our goal was to see what kind of activity would help people remain free of disability," Dunlop told a news portal. Adding, "We hope this new public health finding will motivate an intermediate physical activity goal. One hour a week is a stepping stone for people who are currently inactive. People can start to work towards that."
While arthritis is thought to only affect older adults, more and more young people are now being diagnosed with the condition. Therefore it is crucial to work at staying healthy early before you develop a serious health condition. Making time to stay fit and eating the right foods is the first step to becoming a healthier you.
The study's findings were originally published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.