It is not possible to prevent osteoarthritis altogether. However, you may be able to minimise your risk of developing it by avoiding injury and staying as healthy as possible.
Look after your joints
Do some regular exercise, but try not to put too much stress on your joints, particularly your hips, knees and the joints in your hands.
Avoid exercise that puts strain on your joints and forces them to bear an excessive load, such as running and weight training. Instead, do exercises such as swimming and cycling, where your joints are better supported and the load is more controlled.
Try to maintain good posture at all times, and avoid staying in the same position for too long. If you work at a desk, make sure your chair is at the correct height, and take regular breaks to move around.
Keep your muscles strong
Your muscles help support your joints, so having strong muscles will help your joints stay strong too.
Try to exercise for at least 150 minutes (2 hours and 30 minutes) of moderate-intensity aerobic activity (i.e. cycling or fast walking) every week to build up your muscle strength.
Exercise should be fun, so do what you enjoy, but try not to overload the joints.
Lose weight if you are overweight or obese
Being overweight or obese can make your osteoarthritis worse.