The challenges of measuring physical activity and sedentary behaviour in people with rheumatoid arthritis

Martijn Steultjens*, Kirsty Bell, Gordon Hendry

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)
95 Downloads (Pure)


The importance of sufficient moderate-to-vigorous physical activity as a key component of a healthy lifestyle is well established, as are the health risks associated with high levels of sedentary behaviour. However, many people with RA do not undertake sufficient physical activity and are highly sedentary. To start addressing this, it is important to be able to carry out an adequate assessment of the physical activity levels of individual people in order that adequate steps can be taken to promote and improve healthy lifestyles. Different methods are available to measure different aspects of physical activity in different settings. In controlled laboratory environments, respiratory gas analysis can measure the energy expenditure of different activities accurately. In free-living environments, the doubly labelled water method is the gold standard for identifying total energy expenditure over a prolonged period of time (>10 days). To assess patterns of physical activity and sedentary behaviour in daily life, objective methods with body-worn activity monitors using accelerometry are superior to self-reported questionnaire- or diary-based methods.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberrkac101
JournalRheumatology Advances in Practice
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 24 Jan 2023


  • physical activity
  • RA
  • sedentary behaviour

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rheumatology


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