Physical Activity Down Across Chronic Disease Subgroups

Mental health disorders tied to lowest moderate activity; those with CVD have lowest vigorous activity
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THURSDAY, Feb. 14, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- People with a wide variety of chronic diseases are less physically active than individuals without chronic diseases, according to a study published online Feb. 5 in the International Journal of Epidemiology.

Joseph Barker, from the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom, and colleagues used data from 96,706 participants (aged ≥40 years) participating in the U.K. Biobank prospective cohort study (2006 to 2010). Hospital records and a cancer registry were used to identify diagnostic codes. Further, some participants used a wrist-worn triaxial accelerometer for seven days.

The researchers found that participants with any chronic disease undertook 9 percent (61 minutes) less moderate activity and 11 percent (three minutes) less vigorous activity per week than individuals without chronic disease. Findings of less physical activity were consistent across every chronic disease subgroup. Individuals with mental health disorders had the lowest moderate activity (559 minutes/week) versus individuals without chronic disease (705.1 minutes/week), and individuals with cardiovascular diseases had the lowest vigorous activity (23.1 minutes/week) versus individuals without chronic disease (27 minutes/week).

"Given the substantial health benefits of being physically active, clinicians and policymakers should be aware that their patients with any chronic disease are at greater health risk from other diseases than anticipated because of their physical inactivity," the authors write.

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