Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Running Delays Onset of Disabilities and Death

Stanford University researchers began studying 538 middle-aged runners back in the 1980s during the height of America's jogging craze. At the time, critics were convinced that runners would suffer serious injuries and predicted an epidemic of knee replacements. But 21 years of research show quite the opposite is true. Data from the Stanford study, which was recently published in two peer-reviewed journals, show that the runners did not have higher rates of osteoarthritis and total knee replacements. And the onset of disabilities appeared 12 to 16 years later in the runners' group vs. the nonrunners'. That's huge; imagine living independently or delaying the use of a cane for an extra decade or more. There were also half as many deaths in the runners' group than in the nonrunners' during the study.

MY COMMENT: I do not have the research in front of me but I believe excess body weight is a far better predictor of osteoarthritis and joint disease than running. There are those runners, however, that likely would be better off with cycling, swimming, or some other aerobic activity.

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