Benefits of Exercise in Rheumatoid Arthritis

Cooney, Jennifer K., Law, Rebecca-Jane orcid iconORCID: 0000-0002-1435-5086, Matschke, Verena, Lemmey, Andrew B., Moore, Jonathan P., Ahmad, Yasmeen, Jones, Jeremy G., Maddison, Peter and Thom, Jeanette M. (2011) Benefits of Exercise in Rheumatoid Arthritis. Journal of Aging Research, 2011 (2011). pp. 1-14. ISSN 2090-2212

[thumbnail of 7494_Law.pdf]
PDF - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution.


Official URL:


This paper aims to highlight the importance of exercise in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and to demonstrate the multitude of beneficial effects that properly designed exercise training has in this population. RA is a chronic, systemic, autoimmune disease characterised by decrements to joint health including joint pain and inflammation, fatigue, increased incidence and progression of cardiovascular disease, and accelerated loss of muscle mass, that is, “rheumatoid cachexia”. These factors contribute to functional limitation, disability, comorbidities, and reduced quality of life. Exercise training for RA patients has been shown to be efficacious in reversing cachexia and substantially improving function without exacerbating disease activity and is likely to reduce cardiovascular risk. Thus, all RA patients should be encouraged to include aerobic and resistance exercise training as part of routine care. Understanding the perceptions of RA patients and health professionals to exercise is key to patients initiating and adhering to effective exercise training.

Repository Staff Only: item control page