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Does being overweight affect your joints?

9 July 2018 No Comment

I get asked this question a lot. And until recently, I thought it made a bit of difference, but if you had good strength and sufficient joint mobility carrying a few extra kilos probably wouldn’t be that big a deal. For your joints at least. Being overweight is associated with all kinds of other health problems, so maintaining a healthy weight is in your best interested regardless.

But now we know exactly how much pressure your joints take on when you take on extra weight. According to a study of overweight and obese people, for every kilogram of body weight you lose, you reduce the amount of pressure in your knees by 4kg!

Here are some choice quotes from the article on WebMD.com:

“Accumulated over thousands of steps taken each day, researchers say the effects of this reduction of pressure on the knees should have a significant impact on the progression of osteoarthritis of the knee.”

“Osteoarthritis is the leading cause of disability in the U.S. The disease progressively destroys the cartilage that acts like a shock absorber in the joints and results in pain, stiffness, and eventually loss of movement in the affected joint.”

“researchers say a reduction of pressure on the joints of this magnitude would appear to have a major impact on arthritis. Obesity is one of the most important risk factors for osteoarthritis of the knee.”

“The accumulated reduction in knee load for a 1-pound loss in weight would be more than 4,800 pounds per mile walked”.

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