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“Successful” Exercisers among People with Arthritis: Understanding Facilitators and Barriers to Physical Activity

Funding Number


Project Description

This project was designed to better understand why some people with arthritis are successful in establishing and maintaining a regimen of aerobic activity, while others are not successful in maintaining such an exercise regimen. More specifically, the purpose of the project was to develop an in-depth understanding of facilitators and barriers to physical activity and exercise among people with arthritis, to identify and assess the importance of personally meaningful outcomes of physical activity and exercise for people with arthritis; and to determine whether the identified facilitators, barriers, and outcomes of physical activity differ by gender. Project activities included a comprehensive literature review, focus group interviews, and in-depth interviews. Three focus groups were conducted among people with arthritis who are regular exercisers and three among non-exercisers. Findings from these activities were further examined in 45 in-depth interviews with 27 women and 18 men. The results of this project contribute to the goals of the National Arthritis Action Plan, and will inform the CDC’s Arthritis Program’s efforts to promote physical activity for individuals with arthritis.

Key Findings

  • Physically active adults with arthritis identified a greater range of positive outcomes from physical activity, and more motivating factors to perform exercise, as compared to adults with arthritis who were not physically active.
  • Physically active individuals also reported more barriers to physical activity; however, they were more likely to problem solve and make modifications to reduce these barriers.

Abstracts, Publications, Presentations

Gallant, M.P., and Riley-Jacome, M. (2005, November). Understanding “Successful” Exercise Behavior among Adults with Arthritis. Presented at the 58th Annual Scientific Meeting of the Gerontological Society of America, Orlando, FL, November, 2005.

Gallant, MP, and Riley-Jacome, M. Exercise behavior among older adults with arthritis: Understanding facilitators and barriers to success. Paper in progress

Principal Investigator

Mary P. Gallant, Ph.D., M.P.H.
Associate Professor
Department of Health Policy, Management, & Behavior
School of Public Health, State University of New York at Albany
East Campus 185
One University Place
Rensselaer, NY 12144-3456

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