Is There A Link Between Arthritis In The Knee And Exercise? Researchers Say That There Is None.

Arthritis becomes more common as you get older. Doctors often refer to this as the ‘wear and tear’ condition that happens to those who engage in strenuous activities. Hence, people choose workouts that are considered low impact. Instead of running, they walk. And if they do engage in exercise, they make sure that the floor they use caters to their need.

However, it seems as if there is no connection between the amount of exercise people engage in and whether they develop painful arthritis in their knees. Researchers have looked into this and are baffled by what they found. Of course, it must be considered that high-impact forms of exercise such as running aren’t included.


At this point in time, there is no full connection between exercise and developing arthritis in the knee. This was according to new research made in the University of Oxford.

In the UK alone, around one in ten adults have symptomatic clinically-diagnosed osteoarthritis. The most common of which happens in the knee area. Moreover, a meta-analysis of six global studies was also made. They included more than 5,000 participants in the study, and this was a mix of participants who lived with and without knee osteoarthritis. Each one of them were studied and interviewed for 5 to 12 years after. It showed that for those over 45 years of age, common recreational activities don’t carry the risk of developing it.

The study made found that recreational exercise like running, cycling or swimming, or sport had minimal to zero impact on the knee, other tasks that involve heavy physical labor or work load such as kneeling, whole body vibration, and repetitive movements can still be at risk for it.

The researchers from Oxford said this was the first study made which analyzed and looked into the connection between examining physical exercise and looking at calories burned during the activity and knee osteoarthritis.

The fact is that osteoarthritis is more common in women than men, and it happens to those in the older age bracket. It is also good to note that obesity is another common risk factor for the sufferers.

Dr Thomas Perry, from the University of Oxford, explained, “These findings suggest that physical activity as defined by whole-body, physiological energy expenditure during sport/walking/cycling activities is not associated with knee osteoarthritis.”

He further said, “Likewise, time spent in recreational physical activity is not associated with incident knee osteoarthritis. Knowing that the amount of physical activity and time spent doing it is not associated with the development of knee osteoarthritis is important evidence for both clinicians and the public who may need to consider this when prescribing physical activity for health.”

While much has yet to be analyzed, the findings serve as guideline for those who want to stay healthy but also make sure that they avoid further physical damage that can take a toll in their body as they age.

The study was published in the journal Arthritis & Rheumatology.