Blog | Tuesday, October 1, 2013

QD: News Every Day--Despite the obvious, runners may not get knee OA more than others

Contrary to common sense, running may pose no more risk of knee osteoarthritis than walking, a small study found. But that’s why scientists research the seemingly obvious.

The relatively short duration of ground contact and relatively long length of strides in running seem to blunt the effect of high peak joint loads that occur in running, spreading out the impact so that the load per unit distance traveled is no higher than walking, a study reported.

Results appeared in the journal Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise.

To compare peak and per unit distance knee joint loads between human walking and running, researchers studied 14 healthy adults who walked and ran at self-selected speeds. Researchers found that while the peak load was 3 times higher in running (8.02 vs. 2.72 bodyweights, P<0.001), the PUD load did not differ between running and walking (0.80 vs. 0.75 bodyweights · m-1, P=0.098). While peak load increased the faster people ran, the per unit distance decreased.