New research presented last week at the American College of Rheumatology Annual Meeting suggests that a pedometer may be a beneficial therapeutic tool for patients with rheumatoid arthritis. The study, undertaken by researchers from the University of California, San Francisco, found that increasing the number of steps taken daily, coupled with a pedometer to measure the increase was an effective intervention in reducing fatigue in RA sufferers. Breaking the cycle of fatigue-induced physical inactivity has been determined to contribute significantly to enhanced quality of life for patients with rheumatoid arthritis.
Rheumatoid arthritis is the most common chronic autoimmune disease that affects the joints, commonly in the feet and hands. RA has the potential for joint damage and deformity, with loss of function, and causes pain, stiffness, and swelling. The cause of RA is unknown. In this study, 96 subjects with chronic RA were randomly assigned to 3 groups: Group 1 received instruction in physical activity, group 2 received a pedometer and a daily log to record their activity, and group 3 received the pedometer and log, together with instruction in increasing their number of steps taken. At 21 weeks, the pedometer groups had increased daily steps by 87% (group 2) and 159% (group 3) and reported significantly less fatigue. Participants who were the least active at the beginning of the study noted the biggest change in fatigue by the end.
Read about minimizing RA costs and intensive treatments through patient engagement, here.
Read more about the study findings mentioned above, here.