Physical activity and its associated factors in patients with neck or shoulder complaints: a cross-sectional study
Hoek, H.A. van der
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Abstract Background: Neck and shoulder complaints are becoming more prevalent. Insufficient physical activity (PA) increases the risk of neck and shoulder complaints. Measuring PA has become much easier, but little is known about how this outcome is related to other factors in this patient group. Exploring which demographic or health-related factors are associated with PA in patients with neck or shoulder complaints will expand the body of knowledge on this topic. Objective: The objective is to explore the association between demographic or health-related factors and PA in patients with neck and shoulder complaints. PA is primarily operationalized as daily minutes of moderate or vigorous PA (MVPA) and secondary as other relevant elements of PA behavior: ten-minutes bouts of MVPA, minutes of light PA, and minutes of sedentary PA. Methods: In this cross-sectional study, data from 80 adults with non-specific neck or shoulder complaints in primary care physiotherapy were included. Data were analyzed using multivariate linear regression analysis with backward stepwise selection. Potential explanatory variables included risk of persisting disabling pain, region-specific pain and disability, quality of life, time of complaints, age, and Body Mass Index (BMI). Results: Mean daily MVPA was 34.2 minutes (IQR=27.1), 41.3% had <30 minutes MVPA per day. Quality of life (physical component) (β=0.886 [95%CI 0.256 to 1.516], p=0.006), BMI (β=-1.240 [95%CI -2.418 to -0.061], p=0.040) and (compared to medium-risk) low-risk of persistent disabling pain (β=-10.014 [95%CI -19.893 to -0.135], p=0.047) were significantly associated with minutes of MVPA. Compared to medium-risk, high-risk of persistent disabling pain (β=84.193 [95%CI 0.716 to 167.669], p=0.048) was significantly associated with minutes of sedentary PA. Quality of life (physical component) (β=0.081 [95%CI 0.028 to 0.134], p=0.003) and BMI (β=-0.134 [95%CI -0.230 to -0.037], p=0.007) were significantly associated with ten-minutes bouts of MVPA. Conclusion and key findings: patients with a higher BMI and a low risk of persistent disabling pain (reference medium-risk) were less physically active on MVPA. In contrast, patients with a better quality of life (physical component) were more active. The risk of persistent disabling pain and disability yielded uncertain results; studies with larger sample sizes of this subgroup are recommended.