To examine physical activity (PA) prevalence in individuals with arthritis in comparison with those with other chronic diseases.
Descriptive analyses were based on cross-sectional self-reported data for adults over age 18 from the Canadian Community Health Survey administered in 2005 (N = 132,221) for the following groups: arthritis, back problems, other physical chronic conditions (ie, diabetes, heart disease, hypertension, and cancer), and no physical chronic conditions.
The arthritis group did less leisure-time physical activity than the other 3 groups, they were particularly less likely to engage in vigorous physical activities, but were just as likely to walk when commuting for errands, work, or school. Older women in the arthritis group appeared to be the least active across physical activities and groups.
Adults with chronic disease were more physically inactive during leisure than those without chronic physical conditions, and older women in the arthritis group were particularly limited in our study. A more comprehensive assessment of all types of physical activity, including work, leisure, and commuting behaviors, need to be done in populations with chronic disease, to provide a more accurate portrayal of physical activity participation.
Kaptein is with the Arthritis Community Research and Evaluation Unit, Toronto Western Research Institute, Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Badley is with the Dalla Lana School of Public Health Sciences, University of Toronto, Ontario, Canada.