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Physical Activity and Psychosocial Aspects of Arthritis

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Abstract

The evidence is clear that physical activity and exercise offer health benefits such as improvements in cardiovascular risk factors, reduction of obesity and metabolic syndrome, and reduction in cancer risk. For individuals with arthritis, it also offers reductions in pain and improvements in function. In addition, a great deal of evidence indicates that physical activity improves mood and reduces the risk of depression and cognitive impairment. While the majority of the evidence comes from studies in the general population, a substantial body of literature also comes from studies of individuals with rheumatic diseases. This chapter will review the evidence linking physical activity and exercise to psychological and cognitive well-being and then present information to help practitioners guide patients in initiating physical activity.

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Notes

  1. 1.

    MET refers to “metabolic equivalent of task,” - ->and is used to express the energy cost of physical activities. One MET is considered the energy required for quiet sitting. Sample values: sleeping (0.9 MET), walking at 2.5 mph (2.9 MET), pushing a stroller (4.0 MET), running at 6 mph (9.8 MET), jumping rope (12.3 MET). These are average values; actual METs vary by age, sex, height, and body mass (Matthews et al., 2012). Activity is often expressed as MET minutes, representing the time expended at a certain level of activity.

  2. 2.

    Body mass index (BMI), calculated as \( {\mathrm{weight}}_{\mathrm{kg}}/{\mathrm{height}}_{{\mathrm{m}}^2} \), is the most common estimation of body composition and obesity. The standard definition of obesity is BMI ≥ 30.

  3. 3.

    Executive function refers to higher-level cognitive processes that are involved in planning, organization, and management of cognitive processes. It includes domains such as working memory, reasoning, task flexibility, processing speed, and problem solving.

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Katz, P. (2016). Physical Activity and Psychosocial Aspects of Arthritis. In: Nicassio, P. (eds) Psychosocial Factors in Arthritis. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-22858-7_13

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