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Knee OA...Can you walk 5 minutes per day? Brisk walking can delay knee replacement surgery.

Updated: Dec 8, 2019

knee osteoarthritis is a common injury treated in physiotherapy at Waterloo Sport Medicine
knee osteoarthritis

Waterloo Sports Medicine Centre (WSM) is a comprehensive and evidence-based sports medicine clinic. Reviewing recent research and evidence has helped to make WSM the preferred choice of the community members of Kitchener, Waterloo and the surrounding area for over 30 years. Knee osteoarthritis (OA) is one of the more common injuries seen by the Sports Medicine Doctors and physiotherapy staff at WSM.

New research that was presented by PhD candidate Hiral Master, PT, at the American College of Rheumatology’s 2018 annual meeting, shows that as little as 5 minutes of vigorous walking per day can reduce your risk of knee joint replacement surgery by 16%. Moderate to vigorous walking was classified as more then 100 steps/min. The study also showed that the benefits were greater for walking 10 minutes daily and the data would suggest that the benefits would continue to increase with an increasing amount of daily walking.

The intensity of the walking was found to be very important. There was no benefit found to the group of individuals who were non-walkers and started adding 5 minutes of light walking per day.

People who are more active maintain better muscle mass, joint nutrition and lubrication. Activity level is also a good predictor of body mass, which plays a significant role in knee osteoarthritis and an individual’s general health.

So, the take-home message is, that for those suffering from knee osteoarthritis, one simple and effective way to manage this condition is to start walking briskly for at least 5 minutes per day. It is always a good idea to consult with a physiotherapist or health care provider before starting any new activity or program. 

American College of Rheumatology (ACR) 2018 Annual Meeting: Abstract 1166. Presented October 22, 2018.

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