Arthritis is a leading contributor to chronic disease burden and a top cause of morbidity, work limitations, and reduced quality of life. More than 58 million U.S. adults have arthritis, half of whom are of working age, and 78 million are projected to have it by 2040. People with arthritis face barriers to physical activity such as fear of worsening arthritis pain and progression. However, arthritis and its limitations can be managed effectively, and symptoms improved, through routine physical activity and participation in self-management education programs. Low-cost arthritis-appropriate evidence-based interventions (AAEBIs) are shown to decrease arthritis pain and/or disability and improve quality of life.
A recent research brief in Preventing Chronic Disease stated that 1 in 3 adults with arthritis report no physical activity in the past 30 days (29.6%), fair or poor health status (33.0%), and severe joint pain (32.8%). And rates of severe joint pain, fair or poor health status, and physical inactivity were highest in the Southeast region. This study highlights the need for increased use of AAEBIs such as the Arthritis Foundation’s Walk With Ease program to help improve quality of life for adults with arthritis.
To recognize the impact that arthritis has on Americas’ health, CDC, The Arthritis Foundation, NACDD, and other partners observe Arthritis Awareness Month in May. Additionally, The NACDD Arthritis Portfolio, a program of the Center for Advancing Healthy Communities, is proactively working to improve the health, wellness, and quality of life for people with arthritis; support and encourage the sharing of experiences and lessons learned, and best practices; and provide an opportunity for networking and leveraging of partnerships to advance arthritis public health strategies. NACDD facilitates the Arthritis Council, convenes program sharing and networking webinars, manages a website repository and resource portal, and other efforts aimed at advancing arthritis public health with partners.
Learn more about NACDD’s Arthritis Portfolio at chronicdisease.org/arthritis-home.