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Why To Exercise — Lightly — Today: Arthritis

A recent report from the Radiological Society of North America says that heavy high-impact exercise — like running — appears to promote arthritis; but lighter-impact exercise — like walking — seems to protect joints:

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."

This program aired on December 1, 2010. The audio for this program is not available.

Carey Goldberg Twitter Editor, CommonHealth
Carey Goldberg is the editor of WBUR's CommonHealth blog.

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