An interesting study by O’Leary and colleagues, which appears in Arthritis Care & Research, looks at sedentary behaviour in people with RA and factors that may be associated with it.
Sedentary behaviour is defined as “any waking behaviour characterized by an energy expenditure of ≤1.5 metabolic equivalents and a sitting or reclining posture.” Assessment of sedentary behaviour is important because of its link to increased mortality, diabetes, and cardiovascular events.
This study used objective measures, such as monitors, to record the sedentary behaviour of patients with RA. Measures of pain — such as pain intensity, number of painful joints, and presence of widespread pain — were ascertained. Interestingly, this study only found a minimal correlation between pain intensity and more sedentary time. It did, however, find that foot and ankle pain were more significantly associated with sedentary behaviour. An interesting observation during this study was that participants thought they were less sedentary than they actually were.
The key take-away from this study is that sedentary behaviour in patients with RA is likely influenced by many factors, and that pain is only one of these factors.
Amanda Sammut, MD, is Chief of Rheumatology at New York City Health and Hospitals/Harlem in New York City.
An abstract of the study here.