Reduced physical activity in people following ankle fractures: a longitudinal study
To assess the course of recovery of physical activity after ankle fracture and the extent to which this population may be less physically active and more sedentary than the general population. Methods
A cohort of individuals with ankle fracture was derived from a randomized trial and assessed with the International Physical Activity Questionnaire-Short Form (IPAQ-SF) at immobilization removal and 1, 3, and 6 months later. Total metabolic equivalent (MET) minutes per week were calculated to evaluate the course of recovery of physical activity. Sitting time (minutes per day) and the percentage of those who met the World Health Organization physical activity guidelines were calculated. Normative data were derived from a population-based cohort study that assessed physical activity using the IPAQ-SF. Results
In people with ankle fracture (n = 214), physical activity increased in the first month (from a median of 99 at immobilization removal to 979 MET min/wk) and leveled off by 6 months (1386 MET min/wk). Only 22% of the ankle fracture cohort met World Health Organization guidelines at immobilization removal, compared to 80% of the cohort from the general population (P<.001). This difference diminished over time. Sitting time in the ankle fracture cohort was higher than population norms at all time points (P<.001). Conclusion
People with ankle fracture are less physically active and more sedentary than the general population. Strategies to increase physical activity must be considered.