Nothing is GUARANTEED to prevent osteoarthritis, but you CAN take action to avoid its onset. Osteoarthritis is caused by the wearing down of cartilage that cushions and PROTECTS your joints. When this happens joint bones rub together, triggering pain, stiffness and restricted motion. And it'll get worse and WORSE without treatment. But there are TWO ways to prevent this process from occurring. First, MAINTAIN a healthy weight. Obese women are FOUR TIMES and obese men are FIVE times more likely to develop knee arthritis. Why? The force exerted on your knees and hips is already greater than your actual body weight, and extra pounds apply even MORE pressure on the joints, which can then SPEED UP cartilage erosion. For example-an extra TEN pounds exerts THIRTY TO SIXTY additional pounds of force on your knees with each step you take. And, some research says that excess fat releases chemicals that cause joint damage. So, eat healthfully and, if you haven't already, START exercising. But... exercise PROPERLY to strengthen muscles and reduce injury risk. Repetitive motion, heavy lifting, constant knee bending, as well as some SPORTS-related injuries and ACCIDENTS can ALL cause trauma to a joint's cartilage. Yes, you SHOULD participate in sports and other activities, but pay attention to injury prevention by stretching, strengthening and using proper form. If you DO get hurt, get your injury treated promptly to prevent OA in your future. For more answers to your OA questions, watch other videos in this series!