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Nearly half of people with rheumatoid arthritis are inactive despite benefits

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Over 40% of rheumatoid arthritis sufferers are not physically active despite the benefits involved, according to a new study.

Researchers in the US called for public health initiatives to promote moderate activity in a bid to help adults diagnosed with the condition.

In a study published in the journal Arthritis Care & Research, they reported that a total of 42% of people with rheumatoid arthritis were found to be inactive, while over half (53%) lacked motivation for physical activity and 49% did not believe strongly in the advantages of being active.

Dr Jungwha Lee, an assistant professor in the Department of Preventive Medicine at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago, said: “While there is much evidence of the benefits of physical activity, rheumatoid arthritis patients are generally not physically active, and physicians often do not encourage regular physical activity in this patient population.”

Studies have shown that activity can help to strengthen muscles, keep joints flexible, assist balance and tackle pain.

Dr Lee called for measures to “address the lack of motivation to exercise and promote the benefits of physical activity to reduce the prevalence of inactivity” in those with rheumatoid arthritis.

The study was carried out thanks to a grant from the National Institute for Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases.

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