Increasing participation in PA is important for everyone, including people with RA (1,2). The reported benefits of PA for the RA population include improved aerobic fitness and muscle strength, resulting in enhanced ability in activities of daily living and health-related quality of life and an improvement in disease related characteristics, such as pain and stiffness (2). However, studies have shown that physical activity is reduced in people with arthritis (1). Enhancing physical activity and reducing sedentary time are thus important goals for people with arthritis, however achieving long-term behaviour change relating to physical activity can be challenging. Monitoring of physical activity for patients with chronic disease can be valuable in supporting patients achieve their goals and to help with assessing progress. There are a number of considerations when using physical activity monitoring in this way including practical aspects of monitoring over long periods, patient preferences, type of monitors available and suitability of the device to match patient goals (3, 4). This presentation will consider these issues and will provide a context for the use of activity monitors and subjective monitoring to support goal setting and monitor progress in achieving activity goals. Numerous devices and subjective measures have been used, with some validated, to measure activity in people with arthritis (5, 6) - a review of these will be presented with consideration of how they can be used to monitor varying aspects of activity and physical fitness. The perspective of the person with arthritis will also be presented to allow consideration of how well activity monitoring matches patients' goals for activity. A key message from the talk will be the importance of matching the patient goals with the activity monitor. The importance of understanding what aspects of physical activity and/or sedantariness are to be measured will be emphasised to ensure that progress can be appropriately recorded.
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Larkin, L., Nordgren,B., Purtill,H., Brand, C., Fraser, A. and Kennedy, N (2015) Criterion Validity of the ActivPAL™ Activity Monitor for Sedentary and Physical Activity Patterns in People Who Have Rheumatoid Arthritis Physical Therapy http://dx.doi.org/10.2522/ptj.20150281
Tierney M. Fraser A. Purtill H. and Kennedy N. (2013). A study to determine the criterion validity of the SenseWear Armband as a measure of physical activity in people with rheumatoid arthritis. Arthritis Care and Research 65(6):888–895
Disclosure of Interest N. N. Kennedy Grant/research support from: Irish Research Council