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If you want to keep your independence and be able to keep moving around as you age, a study at Boston University shows an important step you have to take. Do it now: Don’t wait until it’s too late and you’re stuck in a chair or a nursing home.
According to research at the Sargent College at Boston University, you have to walk at least 6,000 steps a day to keep things like knee osteoarthritis (OA) from hampering your ability to keep living on your own.
The study shows that 6,000 or more steps daily may protect you from the kind of OA that causes mobility issues and makes it hard to get out of a chair or climb steps.
Osteoarthritis of the knee, which afflicts 27 million Americans, is the leading cause of functional limitation among older adults. About 80 percent of people with OA of the knee have limited movement. Research shows that 11 percent of adults with knee OA need continual help getting around.
While many people walk frequently, two of every three people with arthritis walk less than 90 minutes a week. That’s making them vulnerable to serious disability as they age.
“Walking is an inexpensive activity and despite the common popular goal of walking 10,000 steps per day, our study finds only 6,000 steps are necessary to realize benefits. We encourage those with or at risk of knee OA to walk at least 3,000 or more steps each day, and ultimately progress to 6,000 steps daily to minimize the risk of developing difficulty with mobility,” says researcher Daniel White.