• Mental health and psychological wellbeing in rheumatoid arthritis during COVID-19 - can physical activity help?

      J C S Veldhuijzen van Zanten, Jet; AM Fenton, Sally; Brady, Sophia; Metsios, George S; Duda, Joan L; Kitas, George D (Greek Rheumatology Society & Professional Association of Rheumatologists, 2020-09-21)
      In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, many countries have adopted community containment to manage COVID-19. These measures to reduce human contact, such as social distancing, are deemed necessary to contain the spread of the virus and protect those at increased risk of developing complications following infection with COVID-19. People with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) are advised to adhere to even more stringent restrictions compared to the general population, and avoid any social contact with people outside their household. This social isolation combined with the anxiety and stress associated with the pandemic, is likely to particularly have an impact on mental health and psychological wellbeing in people with RA. Increasing physical activity and reducing sedentary behaviour can improve mental health and psychological wellbeing in RA. However, COVID-19 restrictions make it more difficult for people with RA to be physically active and facilitate a more sedentary lifestyle. Therefore, guidance is necessary for people with RA to adopt a healthy lifestyle within the constraints of COVID-19 restrictions to support their mental health and psychological wellbeing during and after the COVID-19 pandemic.