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Physical activity (PA) is recommended for managing osteoarthritis (OA). However, few people with OA are physically active. Understanding the factors associated with PA is necessary to increase PA in this population. This cross-sectional study examined factors associated with leisure-time PA, stretching exercises, and strengthening exercises in people with OA.
For a mail survey, 485 individuals, aged 68.0 years (SD = 10.6) with hip or knee OA, were asked about factors that may influence PA participation, including use of non-PA OA management strategies and both psychological and physical health-related factors. Associations between factors and each PA outcome were examined in multivariable logistic regression models.
Non-PA management strategies were the main factors associated with the outcomes. Information/education courses, heat/cold treatments, and paracetamol were associated with stretching and strengthening exercises (P < .05). Hydrotherapy and magnet therapy were associated with leisure-time PA; using orthotics and massage therapy, with stretching exercises; and occupational therapy, with strengthening exercises (P < .05). Few psychological or health-related factors were associated with the outcomes.
Some management strategies may make it easier for people with OA to be physically active, and could be promoted to encourage PA. Providers of strategies are potential avenues for recruiting people with OA into PA programs.
The authors are with the Dept of Human Movement Studies, University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia.