Physical inactivity is the fourth leading risk factor for global mortality, resulting in an estimated 3.3 million deaths a year globally, accounting for 6% of global deaths.1,2 A sedentary lifestyle (i.e., too much sitting) is associated with an increased risk for all-cause and chronic disease-related morbidity and mortality, including cardiovascular disease, diabetes, metabolic syndrome, various cancers and obesity.3,4 People living with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) will experience several additional benefits from being more physically active, including improved mobility, strength, physical functioning, mood and bone health, as well as reduced fall risk, with little risk of increased pain or joint damage.5,6 However, despite the clear health benefits of a more active lifestyle, people living with RA remain less active than their age- and gender-matched peers.7-9
Explore this issueNovember 2014
The health promotion message of Exercise More, with the goal of meeting weekly physical activity (PA) guidelines for moderate- or higher-intensity aerobic exercise, is widely adopted.2,10,11 International guidelines recommend that adults aged 19–65 acquire at least 150 minutes (two-and-a-half hours) of moderate-effort aerobic activity each week, accumulated in bouts of at least 10 minutes, to receive health benefits. Guidelines also suggest that similar benefits can be achieved with 75 minutes (one and one-quarter hours) of more vigorous activities, similarly acquired in sessions of 10 minutes or more over a week. Additionally, it is recommended that adults also include strengthening, flexibility and balance-type activities two or three days a week2,10-11 (see Table 1).