Factors That Influence Exercise Among Adults With Arthritis in Three Activity Levels
Published Date:Jun 15 2006
Source:Prev Chronic Dis. 2006; 3(3).
Recent public health objectives emphasize the importance of exercise for reducing disability among people with arthritis. Despite the documented benefits of exercise, people with arthritis are less active than those without arthritis. The purpose of this study was to examine the factors that influence exercise participation among insufficiently active individuals with arthritis and to compare these factors with those identified by nonexercisers and regular exercisers with arthritis.
Forty-six individuals with arthritis were recruited from various community-based organizations to participate in seven focus groups segmented by exercise status and education. Trained moderators led each discussion using a standard guide. All focus group discussions were transcribed verbatim and coded.
Pain was the most commonly mentioned barrier to exercise and limited exercise participation for nonexercisers and insufficiently active individuals. Paradoxically, insufficiently active individuals also identified exercise-related reductions in pain as a potential motivation for increasing exercise. Likewise, exercise-related reductions in pain were a motivation to continue exercising for the exerciser groups. Nonexercisers expressed that a reduction in pain was a possible outcome of exercise but were skeptical of its occurrence. Receiving tailored advice from a health care provider was consistently identified as an exercise enabler across the groups.
Findings from this study indicate that potential strategies for increasing exercise participation include incorporating pain management strategies and coping skills into exercise interventions and ensuring that health care providers provide specific exercise advice to their patients with arthritis.
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