-- Robert Preidt
THURSDAY, Dec. 8 (HealthDay News) -- Exercise is good medicine,
and the number of American adults who did no physical activity in
their leisure time decreased from 31 percent in 1989 to 25 percent
in 2008, researchers have found.
But further gains may be difficult to achieve because certain
subgroups of people are highly unlikely to exercise, such as those
with arthritis, according to the report from the U.S. Centers for
Disease Control and Prevention.
Many of the roughly 50 million U.S. adults with arthritis, which
causes joint pain and swelling, are physically inactive because of
discomfort or fears that exercise will make their arthritis worse,
the CDC researchers said.
The study involved an analysis of data from nearly 433,000
people who took part in the 2009 Behavioral Risk Factor
Surveillance System survey, a telephone survey conducted in all
states, territories and Washington, D.C.
Even though exercise is known to reduce arthritis-related pain
and improve function, the researchers found that 53 percent fewer
adults with arthritis exercise than adults who don't have
arthritis. A state-by-state analysis showed that adults with
arthritis accounted for 25 to 47 percent of all adults who did no
physical activity in their leisure time.
Among sedentary people, even small increases in physical
activity can trigger benefits, the study authors pointed out in
their report in the Dec. 9 issue of the
Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, published by the CDC.
"To reduce the prevalence of no [leisure-time physical activity] among all adults, physical activity promotion initiatives should include interventions such as targeted health communication campaigns and community-based group exercise programs proven safe and effective for adults with arthritis," the researchers wrote in the report.
The Arthritis Foundation has more about
exercise and arthritis.
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