Preventing osteoarthritis 

It is not possible to prevent osteoarthritis altogether. However, you may be able to minimise your risk of developing the condition by avoiding injury and staying as healthy as possible.

Look after your joints

Exercising regularly can help keep your joints healthy, but take care not to put too much stress on your joints, particularly your hips, knees and the joints in your hands.

Avoid exercise that puts strain on your joints and forces them to bear an excessive load, such as running and weight training. Instead, try exercises such as swimming and cycling, where your joints are better supported and the strain on your joints 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.

Read more information about health and fitness including tips on simple exercises you can do at home.

Keep your muscles strong

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

Try to do at least 150 minutes (2 hours and 30 minutes) of moderate-intensity aerobic activity (such as cycling or fast walking) every week to build up your muscle strength and keep yourself generally healthy.

Exercise should be fun, so do what you enjoy, but try not to put too much strain on your joints.

Lose weight if you are overweight or obese

Being overweight or obese can increase the strain on your joints and increase your risk of developing osteoarthritis. Losing weight if you are overweight may therefore help lower your chances of developing the condition.

To find out whether or not you are overweight or obese, use the healthy weight calculator.

Read more about losing weight.

Want to know more?


Page last reviewed: 27/08/2014

Next review due: 27/08/2016