Less than 10 minutes of brisk walking a day could prevent disability in older adults, a new study finds.
Researchers say a little bit of fast-paced activity each day for those with osteoarthritis reduced the risk of not being able to safely cross the street by 85 percent.
It also slashed the risk of daily living disability, such as having trouble walking across a room or getting dressed, by nearly 50 percent.
The team, from Northwestern Medicine in Chicago, Illinois, hopes the findings can help healthcare providers make exercise suggestions to patients and encourage policymakers to recommend an intermediate goal for those who are hesitant to become physically active.
A new study from Northwestern Medicine found that an hour of weekly brisk exercise reduced the risk of mobility disability - being able to safely cross the street - by 85 percent (file image)
For the study, published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, the team looked at more than 1,500 adults from the national Osteoarthritis Initiative between 2008 and 2014.
Arthritis is inflammation of one or more of the joints, with osteoarthritis being the most common form.
It occurs when cartilage, the tissue that cushions the ends of bone, breaks down from injury or overuse of the joints.
According to the Arthritis Foundation, more than 30 million Americans suffer from it, mostly over age 65.
Osteoarthritis is a top cause of disability in senior citizens and about two in five people with the condition will become disabled.
The participants, between ages 49 and 83, were all considered disability-free at the study's start. They had their activity levels measured with accelerometers.
Lead author Dr Dorothy Dunlop told DailyMail.com that the team specifically focused on those with lower joint symptoms - hips, knees, ankles and feet - they're most often the cause of disability.
Researchers found that less than 10 minutes a day of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity - or