Keep on runnin’

Long-distance running not likely cause of knee arthritis, study finds

Regularly running long distances is unlikely to cause knee arthritis, a new study finds.

The study, titled “Why Don’t Most Runners Get Knee Osteoarthritis?” and conducted by researchers from Queen’s University in the Canadian city of Kingston, Ontario, compared the biomechanics of running and walking, according to The New York Times. The researchers recruited 14 recreational runners—half of them women—with no history of knee problems, and used motion capture technology to measure the forces generated by running and walking. The volunteers generally hit the ground with a force eight times their body weight while running (about three times the force of walking), but they touched the ground far less often while running, due to a running motion’s comparatively longer stride.

Due to those differences, the amount of force moving through a subject’s knees was equivalent whether they were running or walking. In terms of wear-and-tear on knees, “running and walking are essentially indistinguishable,” said Ross Miller, who led the study.