What is it about?

Aqua-cycling is cycling on a stationary water bike with water immersion till chest height. Exercise is a keystone and all-purpose weapon with many advantages for patients with knee OA. Many OA patients prefer to exercise in water, because the characteristics of water enable patients to move with more ease and less pain. Aquatic cycling twice a week can reduce pain and improve physical functioning in knee OA.

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Why is it important?

Land-based stationary cycling is frequently advised for patients with knee osteoarthritis, and it is restricted to seated cycling positions to minimize stress on the knee joints. However, aquatic cycling offers the advantage of out-of-saddle positions enabled by water buoyancy, allowing for a wider range of exercises. Moreover, by incorporating upper body exercises against water resistance alongside seated cycling, the variety and effectiveness of the workout can be enhanced even further.


Aquatic cycling can reduce pain and improve physical functioning in knee OA. Aquatic cycling might be an attractive exercise option for patients with knee OA in a clinical setting or community-based setting. Especially for individuals with overweight or patients facing movement limitations, aquatic cycling can serve as a suitable exercise option. No swimming skills required.

Associate professor Ilse Mesters
Maastricht University

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Aquatic Cycling Improves Knee Pain and Physical Functioning in Patients With Knee Osteoarthritis: A Randomized Controlled Trial, Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, August 2020, Elsevier,
DOI: 10.1016/j.apmr.2019.12.023.
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