Arthritis sufferers comprise the most physically inactive population in the U.S., according to a research survey.
The results were reported in the Dec. 9 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s CDC Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.
Currently, there are 50 million doctor-diagnosed arthritis sufferers in the U.S. population, which accounts for 22 percent of adults. Twenty-one million or 9 percent have arthritis and arthritis-attributable activity limitations, and by 2030 67 million or 25 percent of adults aged 18 or older will have doctor diagnosed arthritis, according to the CDC
The report found arthritis sufferers have exceptionally high rate of no leisure-time physical activity (LTPA), despite known benefits of physical activity for arthritis. These include reducing pain and improving function, mobility, mood, and quality of life.
Adults with arthritis who reported no LTPA accounted for 35.2 percent of all adults in each state. No leisure-time physical activity was 53 percent higher amongst arthritis adults, compared to adults without arthritis.
"People with arthritis have specific barriers to being physically active, such as fear of increasing pain or making their symptoms worse. However, arthritis-appropriate physical activity helps reduce the risk of developing other health problems, and helps manage the disease. No matter your ability level, you can engage in activity to help fight arthritis pain and symptoms," said Dr. Patience White, Arthritis Foundation Vice President of Public Health.
The Arthritis Foundation suggests patients speak with a doctor about types of activity appropriate for individuals’ mobility level. It recommends aiming five days a week of exercise for 30 minutes each day. It also calls for five days a week of moderate-intensity aerobic activity and a mix different activities such as jogging, swimming, yoga, biking.
The CDC's Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) is an annual random-digit dialed phone survey that accounted for 432,607 respondents in all 50 states.