Physical activity, physical fitness, and general health perception among individuals with rheumatoid arthritis


  • The members of the PARA Study Group are listed in Appendix A.



To describe self-reported physical activity and physical fitness and to identify correlates of physical activity and general health perception.


Data on self-reported physical activity, physical fitness, activity performance, and disease activity were collected from a sample of 298 patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA).


Forty-seven percent of our sample reported physical activity behaviors that did not comply with public health recommendations. A majority of the patients had decreased lower-limb muscle function (72%), grip force (94%), joint motion (94%), and functional balance (68%). Correlations between self-reported physical activity and other variables were rs = 0.25 or less. Variation in general health perception was explained (total adjusted R2 = 0.65) by pain and activity performance.


Our findings indicate that there is a case for recommendations on and support for healthy physical activity behaviors among people with RA.