Patients with arthritis usually are hesitant to begin exercisingfor fear that it will worsen their condition. New researchshows, however, that increasing activity, even just a little, canactually improve joint function. The findings were published inthe December 2005 issue of Arthritis & Rheumatism.
Researchers at Northwestern University, Chicago, Ill, studiedmore than 3500 people in their 50s and 60s with arthritisto see whether exercise could possibly stave off disabilityfrom the disease. Those who reported exercising at least 20minutes per day, at least 3 days per week, were least likely tobecome more disabled by arthritis than those who were lessactive. The latter group was more likely to develop more disease-related disabilities, including difficulty walking, climbingstairs, and bathing.