The evidence emerges from a study that involved nearly 75,000 “runners”. In addition to family history, body weight affects the disease. Those who like to set the alarm at five in the morning and venture along the seafront or along the country paths have nothing to fear. Running, even over long distances, does not involve any risk of knee osteoarthritis. On the contrary: it could even be a beneficial exercise for the joints. But does running cause any knee arthritis?

The novelty emerges from a study conducted on 75 thousand runners. The aim of the work was to verify the consequences of running on the development of osteoarthritis of the knees and on the probability of seeing a runner forced to undergo surgery for the insertion of the hip prosthesis.


The research , published in the journal  Medicine Science in Sport Exercise , dispelled a myth. Even when sportspeople are no longer young and travel towards middle age, they are less likely to experience osteoarthritis – prevalent in 7% to 25% of Caucasians over 60, with a higher prevalence among women – than their peers. less sporty. What matters is to check the health of the knees before wearing running shorts and shoes. Rather, it is the body mass index that affects and therefore the body weight: the lower it is, the lower the risk of developing osteoarthritis of the knees and of having to undergo surgery to replace the hip.

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Paul Williams, author of the research, enrolled a large group of runners and walkers and followed them. At the end of the observation, during which the times and distances covered were noted. Energy expenditure and weight fluctuations, the study authors noted that frequent runners had a nearly 50 percent reduced risk of developing osteoarthritis. “The thousands of runners observed show how wrong the perception that running wears out the joints is,” explains Paul Williams. If there was a similar effect, I would have noticed it in the long run. Rather, the performance of physical activity it seems to strengthen cartilage and joint tissues“. The stress that the knee receives during a run is the same as a walk, with the same distance. According to the researchers, this is the biomechanical explanation for why runners do not jeopardize the health of their knees. Furthermore, explains why jogging could be beneficial for the joints.

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Does weight cause any running knee arthritis? More than the hours spent running, therefore, it is necessary to keep the weight under control. The latest research has reiterated that the strongest risk factors for osteoarthritis are obesity and family history . “People who weigh more have a higher risk of developing osteoarthritis of the wrists.” The adipose tissue, in fact, is active and secretes inflammatory cytokines that interact with the whole body: including cartilages and joints. Genetics matter, too. The role of several genes in the onset of the disease was noted in a study published in 2010 in Arthritis & Rheumatism.