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Running is often perceived as bad for your knees.1 In particular, concern exists regarding the development and progression of knee osteoarthritis due to long-term exposure to running.1
Despite these fears, recreational running does not have negative consequences on knee joint articular cartilage in runners without symptomatic knee osteoarthritis2 3 and may actually be beneficial for long-term joint health4 (see figure 1). Only 3.5% (95% CI 3.4% to 3.6%) of recreational (amateur) runners have osteoarthritis (knee or hip) compared with 10.2% (95% CI 9.9% to 10.6%) of sedentary individuals.4 However, a dose–response relationship may be present; 13.3% (95% CI 11.6% to 15.2%) of elite or ex-elite runners (competitive professional athletes of an international level) had osteoarthritis, a higher rate than seen in recreational …
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Contributors JLNA and CJB conceived the idea. JLNA led development of the infographic and accompanying text. All authors contributed and approved the final infographic and accompanying text.
Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.
Competing interests CJB is a deputy editor and AGC is an associate editor of BJSM.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.