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Exercise for overweight older adults: an easy approach to reducing joint stress by Amy Ashmore, PhD

All people over 40 years of age show some signs of degenerative joint disease.1 This is because cartilage deteriorates naturally with age and “wear and tear”. But the severity of joint disease varies from person to person based on a number of lifestyle and genetic factors.

Age is a significant contributor to the development of joint disease. Estimates based on 2003–2005 data suggest that 46.4 million adults report doctor-diagnosed arthritis, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). As America ages, this figure could increase to 67 million by 2030.2 Canada’s federal health department also projects the number of people with arthritis (and other rheumatic conditions) to rise as the population ages—from 4 million in 2000 to 6.4 million by 2026, an increase of 54%.3 Aging, however, is just one trend pointing to a greater prevalence of arthritis.

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