Do your knees hurt more walking up or down the stairs?

Do your knees hurt more walking up or down the stairs?

Do your knees hurt more walking up or down the stairs?



3  Mins Read

The summertime gives us a good reason to do some outdoor sports to boost our physical and mental wellbeing, no matter how old we are. But have you ever imagined that these sports could do more harm than good? Exercising is a beneficial activity but why do some of our bodies or joints ache afterwards? Are there really exercises or sports that hurt our joints more easily than others?

Hiking, strolling, running and walking stairs are some of the popular legs-related outdoor exercises. Do you know which one of these hurts our leg joints the most? Our leg joints are responsible for supporting our body in moving and walking. One of the most common causes of joint pain is the loss of joint cartilage. So when we are choosing what exercises to do, don’t forget to consider how we could protect our leg joints and slow down the loss of cartilage when doing such exercises.

In fact, it’s not difficult to understand that repetitive movements put great pressure on our joints and should be avoided. All 4 aforementioned exercises require repetitive movements of the knee joints. To find out which one hurts most, we should consider the amount of pressure it exerts.

For running, the amount of pressure depends on the speed, duration and the body weight of the runner. Mountain running, an emerging sport over the past few years, is one kind of running that requires training beforehand as it exerts more pressure to the knee joints than level tracks.

For stairs walking, the pressure exerted is greater when you walk down than up the stairs as your leg joints, knees’ in particular, have to absorb part of your body weight in every step.

Up to this point, does it seem to you that any leg-related exercise is no good for summer? Not quite, but we have to do it at a gradual pace. These exercises can strengthen our thigh and knee muscles. With stronger leg muscles, the abrasion of bones, joints and cartilages will not take place easily. It’s the intensity of the exercise we should pay attention to.

For example, a person who seldom exercises can start with brisk walking and then move on to jogging after the body adjusts and adapts to the change of intensity. For hiking, beginners should start with trails of lower-difficulty without steep slopes, and can be completed in 2 to 3 hours.

I wish all of you can pick the right exercises and fully enjoy this summer!

Sonia Tsang – Senior Manager, Organization and People Development Division of a listed company; Founder and Executive Director of F8 Funding Limited