Study highlights the need to avoid ‘pandemic of inactivity’ in RA patients
medwireNews: People in the UK with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) did less physical activity than those without during the first COVID-19 lockdown, researchers report.
In their questionnaire study, Antonios Stavropoulos‑Kalinoglou (Leeds Beckett University, UK) and colleagues found that 59% of 27 patients with RA reported a reduction in habitual physical activity in April–June 2020 relative to their pre-pandemic levels. By comparison, 33% of 101 respondents without RA reported a reduction in physical activity, a significant difference.
Similarly, people with RA spent significantly less time doing physical activity than their counterparts without RA during the lockdown period, at a median of 1160 versus 2940 metabolic equivalent minutes per week. The researchers say that “[a]ccess to exercise equipment and facilities appears to be the main cause for these results,” with 37% of RA patients and 33% of controls citing this as the biggest barrier to physical activity.
Stavropoulos‑Kalinoglou and team also report that a numerically higher proportion of people with versus without RA reported weight gain during the study period (59 vs 35%), but the between-group difference did not reach statistical significance.
Writing in Rheumatology International, they conclude that “[l]ooking beyond COVID-19, specific [physical activity] promotion for people with RA will be required to prevent a pandemic of inactivity.”
medwireNews is an independent medical news service provided by Springer Healthcare Ltd. © 2022 Springer Healthcare Ltd, part of the Springer Nature Group
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