Many adults with rheumatoid arthritis are physically inactive, according to new research.
A study has found that some two in five rheumatoid arthritis patients do not partake in any exercise, damaging their overall health.
Until the early 1980s it was believed that medication and rest would reduce the symptoms of the condition, but medical research has recently suggested that indeed regular, moderate exercise can help arthritis sufferers maintain joint flexibility to improve balance, strengthen muscles and reduce pain.
Leader of the study Dr Jungwha Lee, assistant professor in the Department of Preventive Medicine at Northwestern University, is now advising physicians to encourage patients to engage in regular, light activity to improve symptoms.
Aerobic exercise in particular has been recommended for rheumatoid arthritis patients for improving overall body function and lessening joint pain.
The American College of Rheumatology advocates 150 minutes of moderate intensity aerobic activity each week, including aerobic exercise, such as walking, aerobic dance, and aquatic exercise.
This will help patients control weight, and improve sleep, mood, and overall health.
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