Social Question

Aster's avatar

Is it at all possible that walking or jogging seniors are damaging their knees?

Asked by Aster (19949points) October 23rd, 2016

So many seniors are getting knee replacements now. I was thinking that it might be possible that the “walking craze” could be contributing to damaging cartilage. Is this at all possible?

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9 Answers

Call_Me_Jay's avatar

I think not walking and being overweight are probably a much, much bigger factor. Extra weight puts more stress on the knee joint.

Average weight for American women
140.0 pounds women in the year 1960
166.2 pounds women in the year 2015

Average weight for American men
166.3 pounds in the year 1960
195.5 pounds in the year 2015

37.9% – Percent of American adults age 20 years and over with obesity.

Washington Post – June 12, 2015 – The average American woman now weighs as much as the average 1960s man

canidmajor's avatar

Jogging, being high impact, is definitely more likely to damage joints that are deteriorating.
Walking, not so much.
The increase in percentage, however, has a lot more to do with availability of the procedure and the dramatic improvements in design and materials of the devices than who is jogging or not.

Aster's avatar

@Call_Me_Jay do you think walking fast is more beneficial than walking slowly and for a longer length of time?

Call_Me_Jay's avatar

@Aster I don’t know about fast vs slow. I’m not inclined to fuss over the details too much, I think simply getting out there and doing SOMETHING is the goal. And slow down if your knees hurt.

stanleybmanly's avatar

I would bet that this is the case. For all the benefits that come with exercise, the achilles heel is with the joints which simply wear out with use. Women have it particularly tough with the knees due to the anatomical adjustments necessary to accommodate the birthing of babies with big heads. Those wide hips have evolved faster than the knees required to receive those angled bones.

Aster's avatar

My best friend never gave birth but, at 72, can only stand for ten minutes without having to sit down. I think it was those tap dancing lessons she took all throughout her sixties that did it. It isn’t her knees; it’s her back.
I wondered why there were only two women in the class. The other one has spinal stenosis too. She’s in her sixties. Thanks, @stanleybmanly .

stanleybmanly's avatar

It isn’t giving birth that stresses the knees, it’s being designed to give birth that drives so many women to knee replacement.

Aster's avatar

ok but I don’t know or hear about women having it done.

Tropical_Willie's avatar

The exercise you receive from two miles of walking is about 30% less then jogging for two miles.
It is the pounding of the feet the ground while jogging that hurts the knees.
Wear good shoes no matter what way you get exercise.

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