Daily walking and the risk of incident functional limitation in knee osteoarthritis: An observational study

Daniel K. White, Catrine Tudor-Locke, Yuqing Zhang, Roger Fielding, Michael Lavalley, David T. Felson, K. Douglas Gross, Michael C. Nevitt, Cora E. Lewis, James Torner, Tuhina Neogi

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    Objective. Physical activity is recommended to mitigate functional limitations associated with knee osteoarthritis (OA). However, it is unclear whether walking on its own protects against the development of functional limitation. Methods. Walking over 7 days was objectively measured as steps/day within a cohort of people with or at risk of knee OA from the Multicenter Osteoarthritis Study. Incident functional limitation over 2 years was defined by performance-based (gait speed 28 of 68) measures. We evaluated the association of steps/day at baseline with developing functional limitation 2 years later by calculating risk ratios adjusted for potential confounders. The number of steps/day that best distinguished risk for developing functional limitation was estimated from the maximum distance from chance on receiver operating characteristic curves. Results. Among 1,788 participants (mean age 67 years, mean body mass index 31 kg/m2, 60% women), each additional 1,000 steps/day was associated with a 16% and 18% reduction in incident functional limitation by performance-based and self-report measures, respectively. Walking 6,000 steps/day provides a preliminary estimate of the level of walking activity to protect against developing functional limitation in people with or at risk of knee OA. Copyright © 2014 by the American College of Rheumatology.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1328-1336
    Number of pages8
    JournalArthritis Care & Research
    Issue number9
    Publication statusPublished - 2014


    • Arthritis
    • Physical Activity
    • Physical Function


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