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Walking May Prevent Onset of Disability in Arthritis

Prev Med; ePub 2018 Dec 28; Cisternas, et al

Even limited walking may prevent the onset of physical limitations among adults with arthritis of all ages not meeting the aerobic activity guideline, a recent study found. Using a large nationally representative sample of US adults ≥18 years with arthritis, researchers investigated whether, among those not meeting the aerobic activity guideline, walking ≥10 minutes/week vs <10 minutes/week reduced the risk of 6 outcomes (fair/poor health and 5 physical limitations) over 2 years. They conducted a prospective cohort study among adults with arthritis in the 2010 National Health Interview Survey who participated in the 2011–2012 Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (n=1,426). They found:

  • Among adults with arthritis not meeting the guideline, compared to walking <10 minutes/week, walking ≥10 minutes/week was associated with a statistically significant decreased risk for all 5 limitations: walking 3 blocks (HR: 0.3), climbing 10 stairs (HR: 0.5), stooping/kneeling (HR: 0.4), reaching overhead (HR: 0.5), and grasping (HR: 0.4).
  • The decrease in risk was not significant for fair/poor health.


Cisternas MG, Murphy LB, Carlson SA. Walking and the 2-year risk of functional decline: An observational study of US adults with arthritis. [Published online ahead of print December 28, 2018]. Prev Med. doi:10.1016/j.ypmed.2018.12.022.