Joint pain prescription: 45 min per week of moderate to vigorous exercise

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  • Moderate-intensity exercise for 45 min per week or more is linked to improved lower limb joint symptoms in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) or at risk for developing RA.
Why this matters
  • Symptomatic individuals can benefit from less exercise than the 150 min weekly recommended by federal guidelines.
Study design
  • Accelerometer monitoring substudy from Osteoarthritis Initiative of participants with RA or at risk for RA reporting ankle, foot, knee, and/or hip pain, aching, or stiffness included 1647 patients with baseline and 2-y follow-up for physical function measured by gait speed and/or by SF-12 physical component score.
  • Better function assessment was based on transitioning into higher quintiles during time.
  • Funding: NIH.
Key results
  • 34% (500/1476) had improved or high gait speed and 38% (622/1629) had improved or high patient-reported outcomes (PRO) physical function at 2 y.
  • Attaining the threshold of 45 min of moderate-vigorous exercise boosted relative risk (RR) for improved/high function (gait speed RR, 1.8; PRO physical function RR, 1.4) compared with less active adults.
  • Results might not be generalizable to persons with these symptoms not at high risk for RA.