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Last updated on April 17, 2014 at 8:56 EDT

Community-based Programs Aim To Get People Walking

May 2, 2013

Report Shows Low or No Walking Among Those Who Could Benefit the Most

ATLANTA, May 2, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Walking is a proven way to keep joints healthy and relieve arthritis pain, but not many people are taking advantage of this recommended activity or community-based programs that can help, says the Arthritis Foundation in response to a government report released today in conjunction with Arthritis Month in May.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) study published in the May 3 issue of Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, most adults with arthritis do no or low amounts of walking, despite it being a safe and effective way to relieve arthritis pain. The report found:

  • Almost two-thirds of adults with arthritis walk less than 90 minutes per week
  • In eight states, more than 70 percent of people with arthritis walk less than 90 minutes per week
  • Walking less than 90 minutes per week ranged from a low of 58 percent in California to a high of 76 percent in Tennessee.

“Walking is a low impact, acceptable, and feasible physical activity for adults with arthritis and one preferred by those with arthritis, in part because it can be done in bouts as short as 10 minutes. But almost two-thirds of adults with arthritis report no or low walking per week,” says CDC epidemiologist Jennifer Hootman, Ph.D. “Community-based programs, such as Walk With Ease from the Arthritis Foundation, are available to help adults with arthritis increase their walking.”

Walk with Ease

Walk With Ease is offered by the Arthritis Foundation in communities nationwide to help people maintain healthy joints and reduce arthritis pain by walking. The program can be done individually at home using a guidebook and online resources or done as part of a community class led by a certified instructor.

In studies by the Thurston Arthritis Research Center and the Institute of Aging of the University of North Carolina, the six-week Walk With Ease program has been proven to reduce arthritis pain, increase balance and strength and improve overall health when done an hour a day, three times a week.

“People with arthritis fear physical activity can increase pain or make their symptoms worse,” says Jeannine Galloway, manager of Arthritis Foundation consumer health programs. “However, arthritis-appropriate physical activity like walking helps reduce the risk of developing other health problems, and helps manage the disease. No matter your ability level, the Walk With Ease program can help fight arthritis pain and symptoms.”

For more information about Walk With Ease and other physical activity programs specifically for people with arthritis, visit www.arthritis.org.

About the Arthritis Foundation
Striking one in every five adults and 300,000 children, arthritis is the nation’s leading cause of disability. The Arthritis Foundation (www.arthritis.org) is committed to raising awareness and reducing the unacceptable impact of this serious and painful disease, which can severely damage joints and rob people of living life to its fullest. The Foundation funds life-changing research that has restored mobility in patients for more than six decades; fights for health care policies that improve the lives of the millions who live with arthritis; and partners with families to provide empowering programs and information.

SOURCE Arthritis Foundation


Source: PR Newswire