Characteristics of physically inactive older adults with arthritis: Results of a population-based study

Mark S. Kaplan, Nathalie Huguet, Jason T. Newsom, Bentson H. McFarland

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

48 Scopus citations


Background. Arthritis is the most prevalent chronic condition among persons age 65 and older in North America. Physical inactivity in this population is linked to functional limitations, increased risk for cardiovascular disease, diminished quality of life, and disability. The purpose of this study was to identify risk factors for inactivity. Methods. National data for 6256 community-dwelling older adults with arthritis from the 1996-1997 Canadian National Population Health Survey were examined using logistic regression analyses. The independent variables included sociodemographic characteristics, health status, psychosocial factors, health behaviors, and medication use. Results. Inactive persons were significantly (P < 0.05) more likely to be women, older (75+), have functional limitations, be underweight (BMI < 20) or overweight (BMI > 25), have severe pain, or not have prescription drug insurance coverage. The same group was less likely to be unmarried, well educated, from western provinces, attend church frequently, consume alcohol infrequently, have higher levels of social support, have better self-rated health, or use pain medication. Conclusions. The profile presented in this study should be fully considered by health care providers when educating patients with arthritis about the adverse health effects of sedentary behavior. Prescription drug insurance coverage may facilitate activity among elders with arthritis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)61-67
Number of pages7
JournalPreventive medicine
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 1 2003
Externally publishedYes


  • Aging
  • Arthritis
  • Canada
  • Physical inactivity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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