Adults with arthritis tend to be less fit than their peers, but a new study from the University of Carolina has found that moderate exercise increases fitness.
Lead researcher Leigh F. Callahan of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, N.C., said the study examined 346 patients with an average age of 70 who had self-reported arthritis.
The participants were divided into an intervention group that took part in the Arthritis Foundation Exercise Program – exercise classes at basic and advanced levels that met for one hour twice a week for eight weeks – and a control group that was offered the program after eight weeks.
The intervention group completed self-report assessments at three months and six months after completing the program.
The study, published in Arthritis Care & Research, showed that the intervention group had significant improvements in pain, fatigue and managing arthritis at eight weeks, and maintained improvements in pain and fatigue at six months.