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knee osteoarthritis
types of arthritis
moderate intensity
arthritis pain
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People With Arthritis Are Not Following Federal Guidelines For Activity Levels, Study Says
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People With Arthritis Are Not Following Federal Guidelines for Activity Levels, Study Says

Federal guidelines urge those who have been diagnosed with arthritis to get a minimum of 150 minutes of low impact, moderate intensity activity each week. That amount is equal to slightly less than twenty minutes of exercise each day but less than a quarter of the people with arthritis pain get even that amount of movement into their day.

Earlier studies relied on self reporting on surveys and polls to garner numbers for activity among those with arthritis but a new study performed by the Northwestern University of Feinberg School of Medicine has eliminated human error from the process of gathering data. Instead of relying on what they are being told by respondents, the researchers have instead used a sophisticated device to measure actual physical activity.

The study, conducted with a portion of people in a larger, national study, looked at 1000 people who all had radiographic knee osteoarthritis, one of the most common types of arthritis, affecting both men and women. Each were asked to wear an accelerometer during their waking hours for a period of one week. The accelerometer is a small device which resembles a pedometer. While many of the previous studies had shown some activity among those with arthritis, this study, the first of its kind, showed that more than half of all women and roughly 40% of all men with arthritis are technically inactive. The researchers deemed the participants inactive if they failed to move for ten minutes or more during their waking hours during the testing period.

Most doctors are advised to direct their newly diagnosed patients to non-medicine treatment plans to prevent worsening pain. In addition, they are encouraged to tell their patients about moving to reduce the damage that arthritis can cause. Most doctors do suggest exercise, including brisk walks or water based exercises so that their patients can meet the federal guidelines. Water workouts are exceptionally good because they remove all impact from the joints and can allow for more strenuous work without the additional pain or wear and tear.

Another study has concluded that arthritis affects the health related quality of life for those people who suffer from the condition with all health conditions, including physical, mental and emotional are affected negatively. Arthritis is not only a significant health issue but can cause a major economic burden as well.

The Centers for Disease Control estimates that there are fifty million people with arthritis in the world and that the number can increase to 67 million by the year 2030. Nearly twenty million of those people are qualified as disabled because of their condition and almost ten million people of working age cannot work because they have arthritis.

In the United States alone, arthritis causes nearly 45 million outpatient visits every year and one million hospital stays. The cost of medical expenses and lost wages together is roughly $128 million each year.

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