Selasa, 11 Agustus 2009

Is Running Hard on Knees?

Runners are often told (usually by non-runners) that running is hard on their knees. According to commonly held belief, the constant pounding wears out or damages knee cartilage and leads to either knee injury or an increased likelihood of osteoarthritis later in life.

But the available scientific evidence suggests that running is not a risk factor for knee osteoarthritis, and may in fact keep you healthier later in life. In one study, runners were compared to age-matched non-runners over an 18-year period. There was no difference in the rate of development of osteoarthritis between the two groups. In another study, overall disability rates in runners increased at only one quarter of the rate seen in age-matched sedentary persons.

A major risk factor for knee osteoarthritis is not running per se; its having had a previous knee injury. That is why there is so much osteoarthritis among former N.F.L. football players and former soccer players. But if you’re a recreational runner and manage to stay injury-free, don’t worry about wearing out your knees – just keep running!

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