Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Arthritis sufferers are not engaging in physical activity critical to their health

Date:
August 10, 2011
Source:
Northwestern University
Summary:
Being physically active is one of best ways people with arthritis can improve their health, but a new study shows that more than half of women and 40 percent of men with arthritis are virtually couch potatoes.

Being physically active is one of best ways people with arthritis can improve their health, but a new study from Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine shows that more than half of women and 40 percent of men with arthritis are virtually couch potatoes.

Related Articles


This is the first study to use a device to objectively measure the physical activity of people with arthritis and determine if they meet federal guidelines. Past research relied on self-reported accounts of exercise and activity.

The study was published in Arthritis & Rheumatism, August 2011.

Researchers asked more than 1000 people with radiographic knee osteoarthritis to wear an accelerometer -- a small, sophisticated device that looks like a pedometer -- to measure their physical activity for one week during waking hours. The participants are part of a larger national study called the Osteoarthritis Initiative and are 49 to 84 years old.

"We had assumed that people might be overstating physical activity in past self-reported data, but were surprised to find that the physical activity rates were much, much lower than what was previously reported," said Dorothy Dunlop, associate professor of medicine at Feinberg and lead author of the study.

Physical activity can help people with arthritis better control and lower pain and improve general function. Some studies indicate exercise may delay or even prevent disability in people with arthritis, Dunlop said.

The federal guidelines recommend that adults with arthritis participate in 150 minutes per week of moderate-intensity, low-impact activity. That amounts to an average of slightly more than 20 minutes per day. Previous studies estimated that a quarter of people with arthritis met those guidelines.

"This study found that fewer than one in seven men and one in 12 women met those guidelines when we had this objective measure, using the accelerometer," said Dunlop a health services researcher who also is with the Institute for Healthcare Studies at Feinberg. "The more alarming finding is that so many people actually qualified as being inactive."

Participants were deemed inactive if they failed to sustain a 10-minute period of moderate-to-vigorous activity over the entire week of wearing the accelerometer. A substantial 40.1 percent of men and 56.5 percent of women studied were found to be inactive.

While more than half of men engaged in significantly more moderate-to-vigorous activity than women, the majority of men who didn't fall into this category were spending their time in no to very light activity.

"The fact that so many people with arthritis are inactive should be a wake-up call to physicians," Dunlop said.

Brisk walks and water aerobics are two recommended activities for people with arthritis, but Dunlop said patients should talk with their physician about any concerns before starting an exercise program.

"Even though they have joint disease, patients need to be reminded that physical activity is actually good for them," Dunlop said. "People with arthritis should be as physically active as possible, even if they accomplish less than the recommended levels. When it comes to physical activity, there is good evidence that the benefits far outweigh the risks and being inactive is especially detrimental to health."

This study was supported in part by National Institute for Arthritis and Musculoskeletal Diseases and the Falk Medical Research Trust.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Northwestern University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Dorothy D. Dunlop, Jing Song, Pamela A. Semanik, Rowland W. Chang, Leena Sharma, Joan M. Bathon, Charles B. Eaton, Marc C. Hochberg, Rebecca D. Jackson, Kent C. Kwoh, W. Jerry Mysiw, Michael C. Nevitt, Jennifer M. Hootman. Objective physical activity measurement in the osteoarthritis initiative: Are guidelines being met? Arthritis & Rheumatism, 2011; DOI: 10.1002/art.30562

Cite This Page:

Northwestern University. "Arthritis sufferers are not engaging in physical activity critical to their health." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 10 August 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/08/110810141257.htm>.
Northwestern University. (2011, August 10). Arthritis sufferers are not engaging in physical activity critical to their health. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 31, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/08/110810141257.htm
Northwestern University. "Arthritis sufferers are not engaging in physical activity critical to their health." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/08/110810141257.htm (accessed October 31, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Friday, October 31, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

U.S. Ebola Response Measures Demonstrated

U.S. Ebola Response Measures Demonstrated

AP (Oct. 31, 2014) Officials in the Washington area showed off Ebola response measures being taken at Dulles International Airport and the National Institutes of Health. (Oct. 31) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Fauci Says Ebola Risk in US "essentially Zero"

Fauci Says Ebola Risk in US "essentially Zero"

AP (Oct. 30, 2014) NIAID Director Anthony Fauci said the risk of Ebola becoming an epidemic in the U.S. is essentially zero Thursday at the Washington Ideas Forum. He also said an Ebola vaccine will be tested in West Africa in the next few months. (Oct. 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Nurse Defies Ebola Quarantine With Bike Ride

Nurse Defies Ebola Quarantine With Bike Ride

AP (Oct. 30, 2014) A nurse who vowed to defy Maine's voluntary quarantine for health care workers who treated Ebola patients followed through on her promise Thursday, leaving her home for an hour-long bike ride. (Oct. 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Pot-Infused Edibles Raise Concerns in Colorado

Pot-Infused Edibles Raise Concerns in Colorado

AFP (Oct. 30, 2014) Colorado may have legalized marijuana for recreational use, but the debate around the decision still continues, with a recent - failed - attempt to ban cannabis-infused edibles. Duration: 01:53 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins