The American Cancer Society (ACS) Guidelines on Nutrition and Physical Activity for Cancer Prevention recommend an adequate level of physical activity for cancer prevention and survivorship. Many adults have been diagnosed with arthritis, with a significantly higher rate in women. People with arthritis tend to be less physically active than those without arthritis, and are less likely to engage in moderate or vigorous activity. The proportion of adults meeting ACS physical activity guidelines is especially low among those with arthritis.
We wanted to explore the extent to which arthritis-related functional limitations are predictive of inadequate physical activity in female adult cancer survivors after accounting for other known predictors.
Data included in the analyses were from a sample of 729 adult women diagnosed with cancer who participated in the U.S. National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey between 2011 and 2016. Inadequate physical activity was defined as not meeting ACS physical activity guidelines. Bivariate and multivariate logistic regression analyses were conducted to identify correlates of inadequate physical activity.
Being age 65 years or older, having no more than a high school education, being overweight or obese, being clinically depressed, and having arthritis-related functional limitations were found to be significant correlates of inadequate physical activity in the study population.
Our results indicate that, in addition to previously identified predictors of inadequate physical activity in cancer survivors, having arthritis-related functional limitations is a significant predictor of inadequate physical activity in female adult cancer survivors. Assessment and management of arthritis-related functional limitations by health care providers are needed to facilitate successful adherence to physical activity guidelines.