Even a little physical activity goes a long way toward helping older adults with arthritis remain able to do daily tasks, a new study finds.

Older adults with arthritis-related joint pain and stiffness need to keep moving to remain functionally independent, yet only 10% meet federal guidelines of at least 150 minutes of moderate activity per week.

However, a Northwestern University study found that doing even about one-third of that amount is still beneficial. The study involved more than 1,600 adults 49 or older who had arthritic pain or stiffness in their hips, knees or feet. Those who did a minimum of 45 minutes of moderate activity — such as brisk walking — a week were 80% more likely to improve or sustain physical function and gain speed over two years, compared with those who did less activity.

Walking is the simplest and most effective way to get exercise. To learn more ways to improve your health, check the SelfCare for HealthCare™ blog frequently! Here at SelfCare for HealthCare, it’s our mission to improve health, care, and support for nurses, physicians, and other caretakers.