Physical Activity Habits among Older Adults Living with Rheumatic Disease

Anand Kumthekar, Sofia Pedro, Kaleb Michaud, Gulsen Ozen, Patricia Katz, Joshua Baker, Alexis Ogdie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Objective. To describe levels of physical activity (PA) in older adults with rheumatic and musculoskeletal diseases (RMDs) and study the association between PA level and patient-reported outcomes. Methods. Using data from FORWARD, a cross-sectional analysis was performed among adults aged 65 years and older with RMDs to assess the levels of PA. PA was categorized as high (vigorously active for at least 30 minutes, 3 times per week), moderate (moderately active for at least 3 times per week) or low (seldom active). We assessed the self-reported levels of PA among patients with different types of RMDs and assessed the association between levels of PA and PROs, including the 29-item Patient Reported Outcomes Measurement Information System (PROMIS-29) assessment. Results. Among the 3343 eligible participants, rheumatoid arthritis (68%) was the most common RMD. High PA was reported by 457 (13.6%) participants, and 1820 (54.4%) reported moderate activity. Overall, participants reported a median of 7 (IQR 0-15) days of moderate to vigorous level of PA for ≥ 30 min per month. Obese participants were significantly more likely to report low levels of activity (44% of obese compared to 25% of nonobese individuals). Participants with low PA levels had higher (worse) pain scores, higher (worse) Health Assessment Questionnaire-Disability Index scores, higher depression rates, and worse PROMIS-29 scores related to pain, sleep and fatigue. Conclusion. Among patients with RMDs, levels of high PA were relatively low among older patients. These observations, though descriptive, support a relationship between physical inactivity and obesity, depression, poor sleep, and fatigue in patients with RMDs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)835-841
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Rheumatology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1 2023


  • fatigue
  • pain
  • patient-reported outcomes
  • physical activity
  • rheumatic diseases

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rheumatology
  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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