Northwestern University Logo The health-space is already updated with the benefits of physical activity for patients suffering from osteoarthritis. Well, here is another investigation which sheds light on the importance of staying active. A latest study undertaken by the Northwestern University suggests that people with knee osteoarthritis who continue performing exercise walk fast and lead physically active lives.

At the time of the study, investigators surveyed 2,500 knee osteoarthritis patients. Study subjects had to fill in questionnaires about their physical activity. Participants were then divided into four physical activity groups, starting from lowest to highest on the basis of a general activity score. Among those belonging to the lowest physical activity group, less than half, or 49 percent possibly walked fast enough to cross the street before the light changed. Generally, traffic lights may allow a walking speed of four feet per second. 63 percent, 71 percent and 81 percent volunteers in the next three higher physical activity groups apparently walked fast enough to cross the street.

Authors note that the more active people are, the faster they can walk. A small increase in activity possibly paves way for better walking function. Dorothy Dunlop, associate professor of medicine at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine and lead author of the study and colleagues mention that apart from improving the ability to walk, physical activity also results in healthy joint cartilage and declines pain, depression as well as fatigue.

The study is published in the January issue of Arthritis and Rheumatism.