Smart Moves Blog

Running benefits hip and knee joints

March 21, 2018

physical therapy house call

I jog about four miles, three to four times a week at Alley Pond Park. I see the regulars each day. Fast Eddie, a jogger for decades and now 76 y/o, covering six miles with his short strides almost every day. Rosalie, 64 y/o, took up jogging a few years ago, engaging in lively conversations while clocking over six miles each day. Richie, one of the original Alley Pond Striders, now a walker after decades of running, strolling the park, taking photos of the nor’easter debris, girlfriend in tote. Randy, a retired administrative assistant, training for her next race, the Cherry Blossom 10 mile run.

The distance logged by these joggers and walkers amazes me. They eclipse my measly four mile runs, energized, enthusiastic, and friendly. So friendly, they tolerate unsolicited research information, to guide or discard as they wish. Lately, I informed them of the JOSPT article, comparing rates of hip or knee arthritis among recreational runners, sedentary individuals, and elite runners (defined as running more than 57 miles a week). The study found only 3.5% of recreational runners had hip or knee arthritis, compared to 10.2% of sedentary individuals and 13.3% of elite runners . The researchers recommend recreational running for many years, up to 15 years and possibly more, as a safe general health exercise, with benefits to hip and knee joints.

As I describe the research and more, I effortlessly run six miles, basking in their answer to a healthy mind and body - recreational running and great conversations.

Manju Thomas

Written by Manju Thomas who lives and works in New York. Follow her on LinkedIn.