1. Bammert, Christine MS

Article Content


Osteoarthritis (OA) is a leading chronic illness among older adults in the United States, and is second only to heart disease as a cause of inactivity for men 65 yr and older. Approximately 40% of individuals over 60 yr of age have OA of the knee, resulting in weakened muscles of the involved joints, immobility, and weight gain.



The purpose of this study was to determine whether overweight individuals with knee OA who completed a 16-week home-based walking and strength training exercise program would significantly increase walking distance, walking speed and quadriceps strength, and decrease body fatness and body weight.



Fifty-six sedentary subjects (50 men/ 6 women), mean age of 68 +/- 8 years, with a diagnosis of knee OA by radiographic changes of Kellgren-Lawrence grade 2-4, and Body Mass Index (BMI) greater than 27 (34 +/- 6) participated in a balanced Polestriding/walking program combined with isometric strength training. BMI, body composition (Bod Pod, LMI Inc.), isometric leg strength (index leg), 6-minute walk speed (m/sec) and distance (m), and perceived physical function via the Western Ontario and McMaster University (WOMAC) were measured at baseline and 16 weeks.



Subjects increased walking speed (.14 +/-.13 m/s), distance covered in 6 minutes (49.7 +/- 42 m) and leg strength (13 +/- 23 lbs.) Modest changes were observed in body composition; body fat percent lost was 1.4 +/- 4%, pounds lost 3.4 +/- 9, and BMI remained unchanged. Physical function (WOMAC) improved by 18%.



Combined walking and resistance training exercise increases walking speed, walking distance, quadriceps strength, and perceived physical function and reduces body fatness and weight in the overweight elderly with knee OA.