According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than a third of the U.S. adult population is obese. Obesity does not merely shape one’s figure; it damages the knee joints too. Consequently, many studies have found a strong link between obesity and one’s risk of developing osteoarthritis, a degenerative condition that occurs from cartilage wear in the joints, particularly those of the knees which carry most of the body’s weight.
Friction between bones causes pain. The cartilage found in the joints connecting two bones serves as the cushion that keeps them from rubbing against each other. With use, the cartilage naturally degenerates over time. Note that a movement as simple as getting up from a chair increases the force absorbed by the cartilage by approximately 2-3 times the body’s weight. The tremendous weight exerted on the knee, therefore, hastens cartilage wear among obese people.