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Daily Vigorous Exercises for Knee Arthritis Reduce Risk of Bone Diseases — New Research

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According to new research conducted by Northwestern Medicine, adults who practice vigorous exercises for knee arthritis have a decreased risk of developing osteoarthritis in the long run.

Arthritis is one of the most common bone diseases around the world. Even though it usually affects people aged 60+ years, I know a few women who developed arthritis at the tender age of 18. 

I was so scared! It’s frightening to see youngsters suffering weak bones!

Most people with arthritis are afraid of following strenuous fitness activities. They fear it may worsen the disease and cause more complications.

But this research found that energetic exercises can actually help you stay safe from autoimmune bone diseases — even knee arthritis.

New Research – Are strenuous exercises good for knee arthritis patients? 🦵⚠️

Find out the truth here. ❓❗️

Let’s check out how physical activity reduces arthritis risk.

Research Details


The goal of this study was to discover whether following extreme exercise regimens for knee arthritis or leading an inactive lifestyle, each affected osteoarthritis.


This research was conducted by Alison H. Chang, from the Department of Physical Therapy and Human Movement Sciences in the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine.

Although the study began in 2004, it was published in May 2020 in the Journal of American Medical Association (JAMA).


A total of 1194 participants were included in this research from Baltimore, Ohio, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Columbus, and Pittsburg. 

The research had both men and women, all aged 49 to 79 years, with the average age being 58 years. Out of these, 697 (58%) were women. The mean BMI was 26.8, which is generally considered overweight.

Researchers followed the subjects for 10 years and later analyzed the data.

New research shows that strenuous exercises for knee arthritis can reduce the risk of developing osteoarthritis in the long run.


Researchers asked various questions about medical history, injuries, sleep quality, demographics, lifestyle habits, and education using questionnaires. They also performed several tests such as radiographic X-Rays and movement monitoring to form a foundation.


The results showed that most participants didn’t follow any rigorous exercises and lead a mostly inactive lifestyle. Those who had a fitness regime showed a 30% decreased risk of knee osteoarthritis.

Out of these, 594 participants (49.7%) weren’t involved with any extreme physical activity throughout the study. 507 participants led a somewhat sedentary lifestyle.


Here’s an overview of the study:

  • The purpose was to figure out whether including tough fitness routines and a sedentary lifestyle has an effect on osteoarthritis risk or not.
  • 1194 participants who were at high risk of osteoarthritis were included in this study out of which 58% were women.
  • The average age of participants was 58 years.
  • The participants were followed for over a decade to check whether they developed arthritis or not, considering their lifestyle and habits.
  • Almost 50% of the participants didn’t perform any rigorous physical activity. 
  • 40% of the subjects lead a sedentary lifestyle.
  • Scientists found that if you’re at risk, vigorous exercises for knee arthritis can reduce the risk by 30%.
  • Activities such as swimming, aerobics, jogging, or cycling can prevent the risk of knee arthritis.
  • Moderation is the key. Make sure you don’t overexert yourself.

How Common is Arthritis?

Alarmingly, the US has one of the highest numbers of arthritis in the world. CDC predicts that these numbers will continue to rise, especially if people don’t leave their sedentary lifestyles or poor eating habits.

Here’s what the numbers by CDC tell us about arthritis in the US.

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  • West Virginia had the highest percentage of women with arthritis in 2018 with over 37.8% cases — almost 4% rise since 2015! The other states with high arthritis incidence during the year were Alabama, Arkansas, Mississippi, Kentucky, Tennessee, and Michigan.
  • 33% of females with arthritis claimed to have severe joint ache issues.
  • 51% of US women with arthritis face difficulty in performing routine activities.
  • 2017 stats show that almost 35% of women don’t perform any exercises for knee arthritis or other bone diseases.
  • Most women with arthritis (35.6%) in the same year had overall poor health which caused bone debilitating disease among other complications.

What is Arthritis?

Most of us, particularly those residing in cities, are at high risk of bone diseases in later life. The reason, of course, is an unhealthy lifestyle.

If you’re not physically active every day and don’t pay attention to your diets, your knee anatomy and function will change. As a result, by the time you become old, knee movements will become too painful.

Arthritis generally affects women more than men. Although most types are common in people aged 60+ years, some can even occur during the teenage years.

This bone disease occurs because of nutritional deficiencies, injuries, overweight, or drugs.

Physical exercises like yoga, swimming, jogging, or cycling can reduce the risk of knee arthritis by 30%. Learn more about this latest research.

Knee arthritis, in the long run, can be harmful to your physical and mental wellbeing. It can affect your quality of life. You may have difficulty performing even routine tasks such as getting up from the couch or going down the stairs.

That’s why a daily exercise for knee arthritis relief could help you prevent the worse outcomes.


The knee joint combines three main bones — one from the thigh (femur), one from the leg (tibula), and the kneecap (patella). A flexible, smooth, and slippery cartilage bone keeps them joined together and allows ease of movement.

Another fluid called the synovial membrane ensures there’s no friction between these bones.

Arthritis Types

Arthritis has many forms but these are two most common ones:

  • Osteoarthritis is a condition that causes your cartilage to gradually wear away. The pain you feel in the knee joint is because of increased friction.
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis is an autoimmune disease that makes your defense army or immune cells attack all body joints, including knees. The synovial membrane begins to deform and leads to joint stiffness.

Arthritis Treatments

If you develop arthritis, your doctor will initially suggest lifestyle changes. Besides losing a few kgs, you might also need to start strenuous exercises for knee arthritis. 

Physical activity doesn’t refer to performing house chores like mowing the lawn or vacuuming. It refers to hardcore stuff like aerobics or athletic games, such as swimming or running.

“Our study findings convey a reassuring message that adults at high risk for knee OA may safely engage in long-term strenuous physical activity at a moderate level to improve their general health and well-being.”

Alison Chang of Northwestern University, author of research

If you’re struggling where to begin, try my 3-minute regular morning yoga routine to keep your knee joints and muscles active.

You might also receive medications to ease the pain or meet any nutritional deficiencies.

Additionally, you may opt for physical therapy. These professionals guide on how to make your legs and joints more flexible and strong. Many alternative therapies help treat knee arthritis as well, such as acupuncture.

As a last resort, a doctor would suggest surgery to treat the consistent pain.


Osteoarthritis is a debilitating bone disease. Proper diet and a healthy lifestyle including energetic exercises for knee arthritis pain relief can help you live a more productive life.

I hope you learned something new from this blog post. Let me know what you think about this research in the comments below.




Hey hey!

I'm the creator of Women Health Hub. After graduating as a biomedical engineer, I decided to pursue health writing — my ultimate passion. In 2019, I started Women Health Hub with an aim to empower and educate women to improve their wellbeing. Besides blogging, I love playing word games, reading & cooking.

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  1. Really a very helpful blog you have shared for Osteoarthritis patients. Keep sharing.

    1. Sabika Hassan says:

      Thanks a lot for appreciation 🙂

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