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Journal of Obesity
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 261974, 6 pages
Research Article

The Association of Obesity with Walking Independent of Knee Pain: The Multicenter Osteoarthritis Study

1Department of Physical Therapy and Athletic Training, College of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences: Sargent College, Boston University, Boston, MA 02115, USA
2Section of Clinical Epidemiology Research and Training Unit, Boston University School of Medicine, Boston, MA 02118, USA
3Department of Biostatistics, Boston University School of Public Health, Boston, MA 02118, USA
4Department of Epidemiology & Biostatistics, University of California-San Francisco, San Francisco, CA 94107, USA
5Division of Preventive Medicine, University of Alabama, Birmingham, AL 35294, USA
6Department of Epidemiology, University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA 52242, USA
7Department of Physical Therapy, MGH Institute of Health Professions, Boston, MA 02129, USA

Received 17 September 2011; Accepted 19 January 2012

Academic Editor: Panagiota Nota Klentrou

Copyright © 2012 Daniel K. White et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Practice guidelines recommend addressing obesity for people with knee OA, however, the association of obesity with walking independent of pain is not known. We investigated this association within the Multicenter Osteoarthritis Study, a cohort of older adults who have or are at high risk of knee OA. Subjects wore a StepWatch to record steps taken over 7 days. We measured knee pain from a visual analogue scale and obesity by BMI. We examined the association of obesity with walking using linear regression adjusting for pain and covariates. Of 1788 subjects, the mean steps/day taken was 8872.9±3543.4. Subjects with a BMI ≥35 took 3355 fewer steps per day independent of knee pain compared with those with a BMI ≤25 (95% CI −3899, −2811). BMI accounted for 9.7% of the variability of walking while knee pain accounted for 2.9%. BMI was associated with walking independent of knee pain.