An hour of brisk walking a week can prevent motor disability in adults with arthritis problems or ailments in the hip, knees, ankles or feet, according to a study published Monday in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.
The analysis, carried out by experts from Northwestern University (Illinois, USA), argues that, with 60 weekly minutes of active walking, "as if you were late for an appointment or getting on a train", the risk of suffering Disabilities related to mobility are markedly reduced, the research indicated.
"It takes less than 10 minutes a day and allows people to maintain their independence," said lead author and Northwestern University professor of medicine Dorothy Dunlop.
Dunlop and his team determined that one hour of physical activity weekly, moderate or somewhat more intense, allows adults with osteoarthritis problems to maintain their ability to independently perform daily tasks, such as getting dressed or crossing a street before the traffic lights come back. to put on red.
"This minimal threshold can motivate inactive older adults to start a physically active lifestyle, given the wide range of health benefits that physical activity brings," Dunlop said.
To establish this recommendation, the researchers analyzed the data corresponding to more than 4 years of more than 1,500 adults affected by osteoarthritis in different cities of the United States.
All the patients presented pain or stiffness in the joints of the lower extremities, but still did not suffer from motor disability problems.
The specialists began to monitor the physical activity of patients with accelerometers.
According to the research, four years later 24% of adults who did not perform the recommended daily physical activity walked too slowly to safely cross the street, and 23% indicated that they had problems performing their morning routine.
In contrast, the weekly walk reduced the risk of suffering motor disability by 85% among those who practiced the indicated exercise.
That weekly walk also decreased the risk of having difficulties performing routine day-to-day activities by 45%.
"Our goal," Dunlop said, "was to see what kind of activity would help people remain free of disabilities."
Until now, the specialists recalled, the guidelines indicated that to reduce the risks more than two hours of moderate or intense activity were advised, a level that could cause extreme pain to some older adults.
"We hope that this new finding will motivate an intermediate goal of practicing physical activity," Dunlop estimated.