News & Insights 5 May 2021

Get up and get moving to reduce your risk of musculoskeletal disorders

Musculoskeletal (MSK) disorders is an umbrella term that refers to a collection of around 200 different long-term conditions that affect the joints, bones and muscles, but can also encompass rarer autoimmune diseases and back pain.

In 2019, Versus Arthritis published ‘The State of Musculoskeletal Health’, illustrating the prevalence of MSK conditions within the UK and the current scale of the problem. The data revealed that an estimated 18.8 million people across the UK are affected by an MSK condition – that’s around 3 in 10 of us! Whilst there is a clear gender disparity, with the prevalence in women being over 5% higher than in men, age is also a key contributing risk factor.

Aside from these genetic risk factors, and those that come with age, many modifiable factors can also influence the likelihood of developing an MSK condition, including excess weight and physical inactivity. Thankfully, these are both things that we can combat through regular movement and everyday activities. Engaging in physical activity, be that a moderate intensity gym class or from pottering around the kitchen tidying up, helps to strengthen your bones, muscles and joints, whilst also enhancing your flexibility and mobility. Similarly, frequent movement can also have a significant impact on both your balance and coordination. Ultimately, and as a result of these positive adaptations, undertaking physical activity leads to a reduction in falls and fractures, sprains and strains, general injuries, and range of joint pains.

It is important to note that it’s not all about traditional exercise and getting out for a run, but, instead, focussing on your sedentary time can be just as valuable for your health. Historic research demonstrates that sedentary behaviours can lead to a significant loss of muscular strength which can be difficult to regain, emphasising the necessity of maintaining an active lifestyle across the lifespan. But, having a prior record of inactivity by no means implies that all hope is lost! In fact, a recent Arthritis UK report explicitly highlights that “It’s never too late to start.” Significant health benefits, including improved function and mobility, have been found even among those who take up physical activity relatively late in life, according to a 2014 study by Hamer and colleagues. So, what are you waiting for? There’s no better time to start moving more to help mitigate the risk that comes with ageing than right now!

Whether you enjoy doing a bit of gardening, chasing the kids round the park, or just having a dance in the kitchen when the radio is on, engaging in everyday activity will help to reduce your sedentary time and elevate your calorie burn. KiActiv®’s multidimensional view of physical activity helps you to acknowledge the value in each and every movement you make throughout the day, enabling you to find the activities that work best for you. The possibilities for movement are endless, and it’s never too late to start moving more and ultimately take control over both your current and future health!

The KiActiv® Team