Changes in the prevalence of US adults with arthritis who meet physical activity recommendations, 2001-2003

Kevin R. Fontaine, Moonseong Heo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

19 Scopus citations


Context: Increased physical activity is recommended for adults with arthritis. Objective: The objective of this study was to update and compare recent physical activity prevalence estimates of US adults with self-reported doctor-diagnosed arthritis. Design: The authors studied the 2001 and 2003 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance Survey (BRFSS), an annual random-digit telephone survey conducted by state health departments. Setting: The authors conducted a population-based sample from 50 states and the District of Columbia. Participants: The study included a total of 52,311 adults, 18 years or older, reporting doctor-diagnosed arthritis in 2001, and 82,839 reporting doctor-diagnosed arthritis in 2003. Main Outcome Measures: Reported level of physical activity was classified into 3 categories: physically inactive, insufficiently active, and meeting public health recommendations. Results: Between 2001 and 2003, the prevalence of physical inactivity decreased by 1.1% (23.8% versus 22.7%), the prevalence of insufficient levels of physical activity increased by 0.2% (38% versus 38.2%), and the prevalence of meeting physical activity recommendations increased by 0.9% (38.3% versus 39.2%). Compared with 2001 estimates, the prevalence of meeting physical activity recommendations increased by 6.2% (54.8% versus 61%) among those aged 18 to 24 years, 3.5% (36.4% versus 39.9%) among never smokers, 3% (49.4% versus 52.4%) among those aged 25 to 34 years, 2.4% (29.9% versus 32.3%) among obese adults, and among those aged 55 to 64 years (36.9% versus 39.3). Prevalence of inactivity increased by 3.2% among Hispanics (30.4% versus 33.6%) and 2.9% among those with 8 or fewer years of education (47.6% versus 50.5%). Conclusions: Prevalence estimates of the 3 levels of physical activity among adults with arthritis changed very little. Given the established benefits of physical activity for arthritis, public health efforts to promote increased activity should continue to be developed and refined.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)13-16
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Clinical Rheumatology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Feb 1 2005



  • Arthritis
  • Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance Survey
  • Physical activity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rheumatology

Cite this