The main contributors to Knee OA

In part 2 of our knee OA blog series, we will touch on the main contributors to knee osteoarthritis (OA). These contributors include sedentary behaviour, weight gain, muscle loss and the effects they have on the the condition.

Sedentary behaviour

A low level of energy expenditure and increased time sitting can cause greater joint stiffness and decrease function in the knee. Incidental exercise in combination with a structured exercise plan is a great way to improve the mobility of your knee.

We also know that being sedentary creates metabolic changes in the body. This stress and associated changes ultimately causes an increase in lactic acid in the joints. High levels of this acid leads to inflammation in the joints, impeding movement and causing pain.

Weight gain

Weight gain plays a major role in knee OA and associated symptoms.

Did you know, each kg of body weight is 5 x the pressure going through the knee joint?

Roughly 75% of OA patients are overweight.

Positively, just a 5-10% weight reduction in 12 weeks, can HALVE your knee pain!

Weight loss and OA

Effect of weight loss on OA


Muscle loss

Evidence shows that not performing strength and aerobic training can have a significant impact on muscle function. Given knee osteoarthritis, if we don’t have a plan to get the muscles around our knee moving safely and effectively, we risk overloading the knee joint.

This graph below shows how well a muscle can adapt to training in 5 weeks, followed by a 50% decline in function from 1 week of not training. Research shows that we can lose significant amounts of muscle adaptation in as little as a week. Therefore, longer periods can be further detrimental to your knee joint. 

Resistance training and detraining

Resistance training and detraining


If you want to know more about knee OA and how to manage this condition, check out part 1 of this blog or get in contact with one of our Physiotherapists or Exercise Physiologists.