Study shows two in five adults with RA are inactive

Bryan Aldrige

January 26, 2012

If you notice any of these signs, it's time to talk with your loved one's doctor.A new study published in Arthritis Care and Research found that two in five adults with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) are not physically active.

It is estimated that 1.3 adults are diagnosed with RA, a chronic condition that is characterized by inflammation of the joints, which impairs function and causes disability. Even though studies have proven physical activity benefits these patients, there is still a lack of people doing so.

"While there is much evidence of the benefits of physical activity, RA patients are generally not physically active, and physicians often do not encourage regular physical activity in this patient population," said Dr. Jungwha Lee, an assistant professor in the Department of Preventive Medicine at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago. "Our study aims to expand understanding of the risk factors associated with inactivity among adults with RA and encourage clinical interventions that promote participation in physical activity."

Family caregivers of a senior loved one with RA may want to encourage them to partake in physical activity each day. Those who are trying to balance a full-time job and caregiving may want to purchase a medical alert, which can allow the senior to contact emergency services if they were to fall or sustain an injury.