Forces on your knees with walking, running, and more

Bryan Lang

Author: Bryan Lang, PT, DPT, MHA, CSCS, Cert.DN: Doctor of Physical Therapy, Business Owner, Associate Professor, and Blog Contributor. Explores common client questions, helps find solutions for every day functional health concerns, and interprets difficult theories in healthcare rehabilitation. Committed to life-long learning and education. Learn more about Bryan on Google+.

Ever wondered just how much force your knees have to take with difference activities you do? So did the researchers of two studies performed in 2014 and 2016. Both research teams wanted to look at what kind of load your patellofemoral joints (this is the joint that is comprised of the connection between your kneecap and the end of your femur) take on a daily basis. Below is the breakdown on their findings:

Credit: Running Physio for his picture.

Credit: Running Physio for his picture.

Does this mean running, squatting, and jumping are bad for my knees?

No. Just like muscle and tendon, our joints can also adapt to the loads that we place on them. If running was terrible on your knees, we wouldn't have seen an 85 year old man last year run a marathon under 4 hours. If we continue to load our joints throughout our lifespan, they become skilled at controlling the forces because they have adapted to them.

  • Side note: He ran the Toronto marathon in 3 hours 56 minutes 34 seconds. The first marathon I ever ran was when I was 26 and I ran it in 3 hours 59 minutes.