Lower cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF) and physical activity (PA) associate with higher cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk, but the relationship between CRF and PA in people who have rheumatoid arthritis (RA) at an increased CVD risk (CVD-RA) is not known. The objectives of this study were to determine the levels of CRF and PA in people who have CVD-RA and to investigate the association of CRF with PA in people who have CVD-RA. A total of 24 consecutive patients (19 women) with CVD-RA (> 4% for 10-year risk of fatal CVD development as calculated using the Systematic Coronary Risk Evaluation)—were included in the study. CRF was assessed with a graded maximal exercise test determining maximal oxygen uptake (VO2max). PA was assessed with an accelerometer to determine the amount of step count, sedentary, light and moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) minutes per day. Mean age of patients was 65.3 ± 8.3 years. CRF mean values were 16.3 ± 1.2 ml·kg−1 min−1, mean step count per day was 6033 ± 2256, and the mean MVPA time was 16.7 min per day. Significant positive associations were found for CRF with step count (B = 0.001, P = 0.01) and MVPA time (B = 0.15, P = 0.02); a negative association was found for CRF with sedentary time (B = − 0.02, P = 0.03). CRF is low and is associated with step count, sedentary time and MVPA time in people who have RA at an increased CVD risk.