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This study examined the association between health-related quality of life (HRQOL) and physical activity (PA) among adults with arthritis.
National 2003 2003 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) survey data for 51,444 adults, age ≥50 y, with physician-diagnosed arthritis were used to analyze the relationships between PA, self-reported health, HRQOL, and activity limitations related to arthritis.
The percentage of older adults with or without an activity limitation who reported fair/poor health or poor HRQOL was significantly higher in inactive persons compared to those who met PA recommendations (p < .0001). Older adults with and without limitations attaining either recommended or insufficient levels of PA were 39% to 70% less likely to report ≥14 unhealthy mental or physical days compared to inactive older adults (p < .0001).
Participation in PA at the recommended level was strongly associated with improved perceived health and higher levels of HRQOL; however, participation in some PA was clearly better than being inactive. These data were consistent for persons with arthritis despite the presence of an activity limitation.
Freelove-Charton is with the Department of Health Promotion, Education, and Behavior, Arnold School of Public Health, University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC; Bowles is with the Centre for Physical Activity and Health, School of Public Health, University of Sydney, Sydney, AU; Hooker is with the Prevention Research Center and the Department of Exercise Science, Arnold School of Public Health, University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC.