November 29, 2010
Walk, Don't Run For Lower Osteoarthritis Risk

Running too much degenerates cartilage but walking probably cuts osteoarthritis risk.

CHICAGO People at risk for osteoarthritis may be able to delay the onset of the disease or even prevent it with simple changes to their physical activity, according to a study presented today at the annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA).

"According to the results of our study, participating in a high-impact activity, such as running, more than one hour per day at least three times a week appears associated with more degenerated cartilage and potentially a higher risk for development of osteoarthritis," said the study's senior author Thomas M. Link, M.D., professor of radiology and chief of musculoskeletal imaging at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF). "On the other hand, engaging in light exercise and refraining from frequent knee-bending activities may protect against the onset of the disease."

Count me skeptical of the health benefits of long range running. Stephan Guyenet makes a lot of sense on exercise.

Share |      Randall Parker, 2010 November 29 11:19 PM  Aging Exercise Studies

matthew said at November 30, 2010 7:27 AM:

Right and I think Kurzweil has the same philosophy.

But what about an elliptical machine? There may be downsides to not having enough type 2 muscle fibers in old age surely.

Lou Pagnucco said at December 2, 2010 10:23 AM:

Possibly related is the following reference -

"Cyclic Mechanical Strain Regulates the PTHrP Expression in Cultured Chondrocytes"

- which may identify the way in which moderate mechanical strain promotes bone/cartilage growth/maintenance.

Makes me wonder whether it would be possible to design wearable accelerometer-based devices which measure daily mechanical strains on knees, hips, etc., to allow exercise regimens to be optimized for joint health.

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