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key to managing arthritis
of Queensland researchers have shown for the first time older women who
exercise are more likely to not get stiff or painful joints.
landmark study, published in the journal Arthritis Research &
Therapy, shows women in their 70s could avoid the pain of arthritis by
Kristi Heesch, Dr Yvette Miller and Professor Wendy Brown from UQ's
School of Human Movement Studies, have used data collected over three
years as part of the Australian Longitudinal Study on Women's Health,
targeting middle-aged and older women who had no symptoms of arthritis.
we found is if women in their 70s can do as little as 75 minutes of
moderate physical activity a week, they will lessen their chances of
developing frequent arthritis symptoms for three years,” Dr Heesch
results also suggest that engaging in at least 150 minutes of
moderate-intensity physical activity per week may be even more
results are the first to show a dose–response relationship between
physical activity and arthritis symptoms in older women.”
Heesch said arthritis was a debilitating health problem, which is more
likely to strike as people got older and affects more women than men.
is almost as common as cardiovascular disease in Australia, affecting
17 percent of the population,” she said.
preventive intervention strategies, such as increasing physical
activity participation by even small amounts, could delay the onset and
development of symptoms of arthritis, there could be considerable cost
savings to the healthcare system and to older women themselves, not to
mention reductions in pain and suffering caused by this often
debilitating health problem.
said the study also looked at middle-aged women but there seemed to be
no similar advantage in women of that age.
were surprised to find such a difference between middle-aged and older
women,” she said.
explanation is that occupational physical activity was not included in
our assessment of physical activity and that many women in the mid-age
cohort of the study were in paid work, whereas the older women were
Heesch said her team is doing further research into the link between
physical activity and self-reported diagnosis or treatment for
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