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Osteoarthritis prevention

It is not possible to prevent osteoarthritis altogether. However, you may be able to minimise your risk of developing it by avoiding injury and staying as healthy as possible. Also maintaining yourself in a healthy weight range will reduce the burden of osteoarthritis if developed in a weight bearing joint.

Look after your joints

Do some regular exercise, but try not to put too much stress on your joints, particularly your hips, knees and the joints in your hands.

Do exercises such as swimming and cycling, where your joints are better supported and the load is more controlled.

Try to maintain good posture at all times, and avoid staying in the same position for too long. If you work at a desk, make sure your chair is at the correct height, and take regular breaks to move around.

Keep your muscles strong

Your muscles help support your joints, so having strong muscles will help your joints stay strong too.

Try to undertake appropriate amounts of physical activity. It is important to exercise for at least 150 minutes (2 hours and 30 minutes) of moderate-intensity aerobic activity (for example, cycling or fast walking) every week to build up your muscle strength. If you are over 65, you should aim for physical activity for 30 minutes most days.

Exercise should be fun, so do what you enjoy, but try not to overload the joints.

Lose weight if you are overweight or obese

Being overweight or obese can make your osteoarthritis worse.

Last reviewed: August 2016

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