You could be reading the full-text of this article now if you...

If you have access to this article through your institution,
you can view this article in

Prevalence of Physical Activity Is Lower among Individuals with Chronic Disease


Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise:
doi: 10.1249/MSS.0000000000000861

Introduction: Physical inactivity is associated with increased risk for morbidity and mortality and contributes to health care costs. Although data supporting the secondary preventive benefits of being physically active continues to grow, there is limited data on the prevalence of sufficient volume of leisure-time physical activity among individuals diagnosed with chronic disease.

Purpose: To describe the association between select chronic diseases and the prevalence of sufficient volume of aerobic leisure-time physical activity to achieve substantial health benefits (i.e., ≥150 min·wk−1) among adults in the United States.

Methods: Self-reported leisure-time physical activity (LTPA) and history of select chronic diseases were obtained from a nationally representative sample of noninstitutionalized civilian adults 18 yr or older in the United States who participated in the 2014 National Health Interview Survey (n = 36,697).

Results: Among all adults, the prevalence of sufficient volume of aerobic LTPA was 50.1% ± 0.5% (mean ± standard error). This prevalence was inversely related to age and was lower in women (47.1% ± 0.6%) compared with men (53.4% ± 0.6%; P < 0.001). Prevalence of sufficient volume of aerobic LTPA was lower for each chronic disease (prevalence range = 26.1%–48.6%) compared with apparently healthy adults (53.6% ± 0.7%). Relative to no chronic disease, each additional chronic disease was associated with an odds ratio of 0.83 (95% confidence interval, 0.81–0.85; P < 0.001) for sufficient volume of aerobic LTPA.

Conclusions: The prevalence of sufficient volume of aerobic LTPA to achieve substantial health benefits is inversely related to age and is lower among women and individuals with a chronic disease. Systems to regularly assess physical activity are needed as well as programs to help individuals be more active.

Author Information

1Division of Cardiovascular Medicine, Henry Ford Hospital, Detroit, MI; and 2Department of Clinical and Applied Movement Sciences, University of North Florida, Jacksonville, FL

Address for correspondence: Clinton A. Brawner, Ph.D., Preventive Cardiology, Henry Ford Hospital, 6525 Second Avenue, Detroit, MI 48202; E-mail:

Submitted for publication September 2015.

Accepted for publication December 2015.

Supplemental digital content is available for this article. Direct URL citations appear in the printed text and are provided in the HTML and PDF versions of this article on the journal’s Web site (

© 2016 American College of Sports Medicine