Journal of Rehabilitation Research & Development (JRRD)

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Volume 48 Number 8, 2011
   Pages 901 — 912

Abstract —  Physical activity in postdeployment Operation Iraqi Freedom/Operation Enduring Freedom veterans using Department of Veterans Affairs services

Lorraine R. Buis, PhD;1 Lindsey V. Kotagal, BA;2 Carole E. Porcari, PhD;3 Sheila A. M. Rauch, PhD;3-5 Sarah L. Krein, PhD, RN;6-7 Caroline R. Richardson, MD2,7*

1College of Nursing, Wayne State University, Detroit, MI; 2Department of Family Medicine, University of Michigan Medical School, Ann Arbor, MI; 3Posttraumatic Stress Disorder and Mental Health Clinic, Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Ann Arbor Healthcare System, Ann Arbor, MI; 4Department of Psychiatry, University of Michigan Medical School, Ann Arbor, MI; 5Research Service, VA Ann Arbor Healthcare System, Ann Arbor, MI; 6Department of Internal Medicine, University of Michigan Medical School, Ann Arbor, MI; 7VA Center for Clinical Management Research, VA Health Services Research and Development Center of Excellence, VA Ann Arbor Healthcare System, Ann Arbor, MI

Abstract — Veteran activity levels may decrease between Active Duty and postdeployment. We examined attitudes and changes in self-reported activities between the two in Operation Iraqi Freedom/Operation Enduring Freedom (OIF/OEF) veterans using Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) services. We conducted an online cross-sectional survey (June-August 2008) of postdeployment OIF/OEF veterans registered with the VA Ann Arbor Healthcare System, Ann Arbor, Michigan. Descriptive statistics summarized demographic data and attitudes, while regression analyses compared physical activities during Active Duty with physical activities postdeployment. Participants (n = 319, 15.6% response rate) reported that they believe staying physically fit is important, they worry about gaining weight, and they believe exercise will keep them healthy (77%, 72%, and 90% agree or strongly agree, respectively). Running (30.0%), Exercise with Gym Equipment (21.5%), Occupational Activities (14.9%), and Walking (13.0%) were the most frequently reported Active Duty physical activities. The most frequently reported postdeployment physical activities included Walking (21.1%), Running (18.5%), and Exercise with Gym Equipment (17.9%). Health problems (39%) and chronic pain (52%) were common barriers to physical activity. Postdeployment OIF/OEF veterans using the VA believe physical activity is beneficial, yet many report health problems and/or chronic pain that makes exercise difficult. Physical activity promotes health, and strategies are needed to facilitate physical activity in this population.

Key words: chronic disease, exercise, lifestyle, obesity, OIF/OEF, pain, physical activity, postdeployment, survey, veterans.


View HTML  ¦  View PDF  ¦  Contents Vol. 48, No. 8
This article and any supplementary material should be cited as follows:
Buis LR, Kotagal LV, Porcari CE, Rauch SA, Krein SL, Richardson CR. Physical activity in postdeployment Operation Iraqi Freedom/Operation Enduring Freedom veterans using Department of Veterans Affairs services. J Rehabil Res Dev. 2011;48(8):901-12.
DOI:10.1682/JRRD.2010.08.0144
Crossref

Last Reviewed or Updated  Friday, October 14, 2011 9:42 AM

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