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How Weight Affects Joints

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How Weight Affects Joints
How Weight Affects Joints

How Weight Affects Joints


At the beginning of a new year, most of us will set some goals for the year ahead. In 2019, one survey found that more than half of Americans wanted to be healthier – 59% wanted to exercise more, 54% said they would eat healthier, and 48% resolved to lose weight.1

Those are great goals. Exercising, eating healthier, and losing weight provide so many benefits to your overall health. One you may not have considered is the benefit to your joints.

Osteoarthritis, the main cause of joint pain, is directly linked to obesity. The more weight our body carries, the more force and stress our joints endure which can have compounded effects on our knees and hips.


Our knees bear 80% of our body weight when we stand still and 150% or more when we walk across the room.2 That means a 200 pound person exerts 300 pounds of pressure on the knees with every step! The pressure is even greater when climbing stairs, walking up an incline, or squatting down.


Our hips endure a force of 2.5 times our body weight when walking, 6 times our body weight when jogging, and 8 times our body weight when running.3

Not only does extra weight add strain to our joints and the cartilage surrounding them, extra fat can also increase chemicals within the body that contribute to joint inflammation.

The great news is that small changes can render big results. Just one pound of weight loss reduces the force placed on the joint by 8 pounds. Losing 10 pounds would mean a difference of 80 pounds of force. Now think about the difference in force on your knees and hips over thousands of steps every day!

As you look to the year ahead, setting goals to exercise, eat healthier, and lose weight can pay big dividends to your overall health and your joints.

Dr. Frisch is a specialist orthopedic surgeon focusing on minimally invasive hip and knee joint replacement as well as complex primary and revision surgery. He believes in creating a very personalized experience with the highest level of service. Visit one of our offices located in Rochester, River District, or Tawas City, MI.




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  • American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons
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  • Mid-America Orthopaedic Association
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