Though research has shown that exercise can reduce pain, ease stiff joints, fight depression, and help with a host of other health problems, even fewer people with arthritis than previously thought are getting enough exercise, says an article in the Chicago Tribune based on a study published online in Arthritis & Rheumatism.
Researchers at Northwestern University's Feinberg School of Medicine studied more than 1,000 people ages 49 to 84 with knee osteoarthritis (OA) using accelerometers for 7 days. Only 13% of men and 8% of women met federal guidelines of 2.5 hours of moderate-intensity, low-impact activity per week.
Dorothy Dunlop, PhD, associate professor of medicine at Northwestern and a lead author of the study, called the results "incredibly concerning." She said, "Being overweight is certainly common in people with osteoarthritis, and if these people are inactive that complicates their ability to lose weight, as well as denies them the benefits of physical activity."
The authors say the findings support intensified public health efforts to increase physical activity levels among people with knee OA.
APTA is involved in the OA Action Alliance that works collectively to advance the recommendations outlined in A National Public Health Agenda for Osteoarthritis, including physical activity.