from Harvard Medical School Healthbeat It’s easy to understand why being overweight taxes arthritic joints. Now some research suggests that inflammatory factors are related to weight and may increase the risk for developing arthritis in nonweight-bearing joints, such as in hands, as well.
Walking across level ground puts one-and one-half times your body weight on your knees, meaning that a 200-pound person puts 300 pounds of pressure on his knee with each step.
And the pressure increases on ground that isn’t level. Each knee bears 2-3 times your body weight when you go up and down stairs. If you squat to tie a shoelace or pick up an item you dropped, the pressure on joints increases to 4-5 times your body weight.
Strengthening your quadriceps (the muscles on the fronts of your thighs) relieves pressure on the knees, as does weight loss.
One study found that the risk of developing osteoarthritis dropped by 50% with each 11 pounds of weight lost among younger obese women.
If older men lost enough weight to move down from an obese classification to an overweight classification, researchers estimate that knee osteoarthritis would decrease by 20%.
For older women, moving from obese to overweight would decrease knee osteoarthritis by 33%.
What’ve you got to lose?
Excess weight, of course.
For more information about weight loss and arthritis, visit the Arthritis Foundation at
To stay abreast of Lake County Battles Obesity, visit Ron Graham’s blog for the Lake County General Health District at http://lcghd.blogspot.com Visit often. The life and limb you save may be your own.