Rheumatoid arthritis patients can increase activity levels and decrease fatigue using pedometers

Providing pedometers, with and without providing step targets, to individuals with rheumatoid arthritis increased activity levels and decreased fatigue in a recent study.

In control patients who did not receive pedometers, average daily steps declined and there was no significant change in fatigue.

The findings are important because fatigue can have a significant impact on quality of life for individuals with rheumatoid arthritis, but effective and feasible treatments are limited.

"Because rheumatoid arthritis medications have only small effects on fatigue, it's important for patients to have other ways to manage their fatigue," said Dr. Patricia Katz, lead author of the Arthritis Care & Research study.. "These results suggest that something as simple as increasing physical activity by walking can help."

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