Most People With Arthritis Don't Get Enough Exercise

Armen Hareyan's picture
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Arthritis pain and exercise

People with arthritis don't exercise enough, and more than a third of adults with arthritis don't exercise at all, according to a study in the May issue of American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

"People with arthritis are not meeting physical activity recommendations made at the federal level and by experts in the arthritis field," said co-author Jennifer Hootman, Ph.D., of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. "That's not good, because we know that being more active is beneficial for arthritis."

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While exercise has been shown to decrease their pain, delay disability and improve gait and function, people with arthritis are even more likely to be inactive than adults in the general population.

"These findings are not surprising," said Kate Lorig, a professor at the Stanford University School of Medicine, who was not involved with the study. "What's important for people with arthritis to realize is that the most dangerous type of exercise is not to do any."

Hootman and colleagues reviewed data from the 2002 National Health Interview Survey, an ongoing household survey designed to be representative of the U.S. population. The survey included 6,829 people who had been diagnosed with arthritis and 20,676 people without arthritis.

Just 37 percent of adults with arthritis met the least stringent physical activity guidelines established by a panel of experts in arthritis, physical activity and public health in 2001

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