Health & Fitness

Just 45 Minutes a Week Can Improve Arthritis Pain in Seniors

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Just 45 Minutes a Week Can Improve Arthritis Pain in Seniors 1

Arthritis is one of the most painful medical conditions that impact the lives of patients in different ways. Living with arthritis is not easy as you may wake up with pain in the mornings and feel pain or acute discomfort while doing the basic chores like cooking, cleaning, washing laundry, dropping off the kids to school. It usually affects seniors the most because they have lesser body strength, stamina, and often lose their health with age.

People who are suffering daily due to arthritis often seek new medications, therapies and tools available at websites like Halo Health Care that would help them to get some relief. People dealing with this condition also think that resting as opposed to exercising will bring them relief.

A research was conducted in this regard and it found that seniors with arthritis need to spend at least 45 minutes a week in exercising if they want to reduce pain and maintain their mobility. Eager to know more? Just scroll down.

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The Research

The first author of the research was Dorothy Dunlop who serves as a professor of rheumatology and preventive medicine at one of the most reputed universities of Chicago, the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago, IL. The results of the research were published in the journal Arthritis Care & Research.

How Much Do Canadians Exercise?

According to Active Aging Canada; in 2013, only one in five adults and older adult Canadians succeeded in achieving the goal of doing moderate-to-vigorous physical activity for 150 minutes per week. The target is in accordance with the Canadian Physical Activity Guidelines. Inactive Canadians are at a loss because they are losing many health benefits of staying active.

Why is Physical Activity Essential?

It is essential for people, especially seniors with arthritis to stay active and do the moderate activity because it can help in managing the condition better and aid with maintaining the physical functioning of a senior. Exercising also contributes to the overall well being of the seniors by reducing the risk of some other health issues like cardiovascular problems or diabetes.

The Subjects

The subjects of the research done by Dunlop and her colleagues were older American Adults. The researchers found that only 1 in 10 subjects who had knee OA met the exercise recommendations. The probable reason for the deficit is that most subjects considered the guidelines to have a target that cannot be achieved when a person has arthritis

When the researchers realized that the subjects were not meeting the guidelines, they decided to find out whether older arthritis patients would benefit from lower levels of physical activity as compared to the current guidelines or not.

The Data

To get to their findings, the researchers analyzed data of over 1,600 adults who were 49 years of age or more. These adults were a part of Osteoarthritis Initiative, a giant study that hopes to identify prevention and treatment strategies that will work for patients who live with knee OA. All the participants in the study had aches, pain or stiffness in joints of their knees, hips or feet.

The Timespan

The physical function of every subject was assessed at study baseline and after two years through self-reported outcomes. The physical activity and functioning were measured by making use of the movement-monitoring accelerometers.

After two years timespan, the physical functioning of about a third of subjects had increased or remained the same. The subjects who engaged in exercise on a regular basis had higher physical function. Though the subjects failed to meet the recommendation of 150 minutes of moderate intensity activity that was expected each week, they still got some benefits.

45 Minutes are Enough

The researchers revealed that seniors who engaged in 45 minutes of moderate intensity activity like brisk walking every week were 80 percent more likely to maintain the existing physical functioning or improve it as compared to subjects who didn’t even exercise for 45 minutes every week. These findings apply to men and women who had arthritis of lower joints.

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Dunlop notes that an effective way for seniors with arthritis to maintain or enhance the function is moderate activity. The activity doesn’t need to be done in sessions that last 10 minutes or more.

The researchers admitted that those seniors with arthritis who did moderate intensity activity for more than 45 minutes a week had better physical function; the bottom line is 45 minutes because something is always better than nothing.

Why Canadians Should Care?

Canadians who are reading this article should care about the hours of activity they do per week because arthritis is increasing at an alarming rate in Canada. One in six adults who are more than 15 years of age, that amounts to 4.6 million Canadians have reported that they have arthritis. This number is expected to grow to 7.5 million by 2036. If you think that you might be among those 7.5 million, you better increase the level of physical activity you do now so that you don’t face problems in increasing it as you age.

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