This study reported that runners had roughly half the incidence of knee osteoarthritis as walkers.
"Recreational running at any time in life does not appear detrimental, and may be protective in regards to developing knee osteoarthritis”, the researchers concluded.
So why is there such a deep rooted belief that running causes knee arthritis?
Maybe it's the runners with a poor foundation (poor flexibility, core strength, hip strength) that give running a bad rap and find their knees getting overloaded.
But it is clear now that the biggest risk factor for developing knee arthritis is being overweight and having a high BMI.
The clear message from the research is:
Being inactive and over-weight poses a much greater risk of developing knee arthritis, than if you keep fit (especially with running) and maintain a healthy body weight.
Having accurate beliefs is so important, and understanding that running plays an important protecting role against arthritis forms an important part of keeping your joints healthy.
For runners who have experienced some joint pain, it’s about building a solid foundation of muscle strength and capacity to offload the joints.
Want to learn about about how to build your foundation for running?