Get Moving to Ward Off Arthritis
(Ivanhoe Newswire) -- Older women who would like to avoid the stiffness and pain associated with arthritis need to follow some simple advice: Get moving.
According to Australian researchers, women in their 70s are more likely to stave off arthritis if they are at least somewhat physically active.
Researchers conducted the study among about 4,000 women who were ages 72 to 79 when the study began and roughly 5,000 who were between ages 48 and 55. Investigators questioned each woman about stiff and painful joints and levels of physical activity. Women who reported no such symptoms were included in the study.
Three years later, the women were questioned again to see how physical activity levels impacted the development of stiff and painful joints. Researchers linked greater activity levels to a lower incidence of arthritis in the older women.
The investigators note 21 percent of the U.S. population is affected by arthritis, making it the most prevalent chronic condition in older people. They report results from this study suggest physical activity could put a big dent in those numbers.
"If preventive intervention strategies, such as increasing physical activity participation by even small amounts, could delay the onset and development of symptoms of arthritis, there could be considerable cost savings to the health care system and to older women themselves, not to mention reductions in pain and suffering caused by this often debilitating health problem," write the authors.
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SOURCE: Arthritis Research & Therapy, published online March 29, 2007