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Being overweight raises your risk for developing osteoarthritis in a weight-bearing joint like the knee—and even in the hand, according to some research, since inflammatory factors related to weight might exacerbate this condition. Simply walking across level ground puts up to one-and-a-half times your body weight on your knees. That means a 200-pound man will deliver 300 pounds of pressure to his knee with each step. Off level ground, the news is worse: each knee bears two to three times your body weight when you go up and down stairs, and four to five times your body weight when you squat to tie a shoelace or pick up an item you dropped.
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