If you’re a middle-aged woman who makes a New Year’s resolution to work out regularly and you keep that promise for only six months, don’t think that will go far in protecting your joints. Researchers in Australia have homed in on the details of the sustained physical activity required to reduce the risk of joint symptoms.
Explore this issueApril 2018
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Their work, “Potential Effect Modifiers of the Association Between Physical Activity Patterns and Joint Symptoms in Middle-Aged Women,” appeared online Dec. 6, 2017, ahead of print in Arthritis Care & Research. Geeske Peeters, PhD, is the Atlantic Fellow for Equity in Brain Health at the Global Brain Health Institute, which is based at the University of California, San Francisco, and Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland. A co-author on the study, Dr. Peeters says, “We wanted to find out whether body mass index (BMI), menopausal status and hormone therapy (HT) would modify the association between physical activity (PA) joint symptoms in later middle-aged women.”
Using data on 6,661 participants from the Australian Longitudinal Study on Women’s Health, the researchers sought information on joint pain and stiffness, PA, height and weight, menopausal symptoms and HT use. The women, who were born between 1946 and 1951, completed health surveys every three years from 1998–2010.