Physical Activity Context Preferences in People With Arthritis and Osteoporosis

in Journal of Physical Activity and Health
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Patient-group specific preferences can be used to design physical activity programs. This study compared physical activity context preferences between (1) people with musculoskeletal conditions (ie, arthritis and/or osteoporosis) and people without these conditions, and (2) people with arthritis only and people with osteoporosis only.


Data were from 1684 participants (57.2 ± 6.6 years) with self-reported arthritis and/or osteoporosis and 4550 participants (52.9 ± 6.9 years) without these conditions. Participants indicated the extent to which they disagreed/agreed with a preference for each of 14 contexts. Marginal means and 95% confidence intervals are presented, differences were tested with ANCOVA.


Compared with participants without musculoskeletal conditions, those with arthritis and/or osteoporosis indicated a slightly stronger preference for activities that are not just about exercise [3.55 (3.51–3.59) vs. 3.49 (3.46–3.52), P = .02], and a weaker preference for vigorous activities [3.02 (2.97–3.06) vs. 3.08 (3.06–3.11), P = .02], and activities with a set routine or format [3.29 (3.24–3.33) vs. 3.35 (3.32–3.38), P = .02]. Participants with arthritis only [n = 1063, 2.64, (2.59–2.70)] had a stronger preference against supervision than those with osteoporosis only [n = 146, 2.84 (2.69–2.99); P = .02].


Only small differences were found in the activity context preferences between people with and without musculoskeletal conditions, and between people with osteoporosis and people with arthritis. The context of physical activity interventions for people with arthritis and/or osteoporosis does not have to be different from those for people without these conditions.

The authors are with the School of Human Movement Studies, University of Queensland, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia.