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Two-Thirds of Adults With Arthritis Engage in Physical Activity

THURSDAY, Oct. 7, 2021 -- About two-thirds of adults with arthritis report engaging in physical activity, with walking the most commonly reported activity, according to research published in the Oct. 8 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

Noting that physical activity can improve physical function and reduce pain and fall risk among adults with arthritis, Dana Guglielmo, M.P.H., from the CDC in Atlanta, and colleagues analyzed 2019 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System data to examine the most common non-work-related physical activities among adults with arthritis.

The researchers found that 67.2 percent of adults with arthritis reported engaging in physical activity in the past month in 2019; the most commonly reported activities were walking, gardening, and weightlifting (70.8, 13.3, and 7.3 percent, respectively). In 45 U.S. states, at least two-thirds of adults with arthritis who engaged in physical activity reported walking.

"To promote physical activity among adults with arthritis, health care providers can offer advice or counseling for walking or referrals to low-cost, evidence-based physical activity programs," the authors write. "Promoting engagement in physical activity among adults with arthritis can reduce their risk for chronic health conditions and improve their mental health and quality of life."

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