Tuesday, May 04, 2010

National Arthritis Awareness Month in May Highlights Importance of Physical Activity

/PRNewswire/ -- For the 46 million Americans with arthritis and many more at risk in the United States, moving is the best medicine to fight arthritis pain. This May during National Arthritis Awareness Month, the Arthritis Foundation is kicking off a nationwide awareness campaign to encourage all Americans to make physical activity part of their daily routine.

Already the nation's most common cause of disability, a new Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report published in the May issue of Preventing Chronic Disease finds that the burden of arthritis is greater for African-Americans and Hispanics. These two groups are nearly twice as likely as whites to have severe joint pain and work limitations and 1.3 times as likely to have activity limitations.

Among the overall population, the impact of arthritis is expected to escalate significantly in decades to come. One in five adults in the United States (46 million people) has arthritis and an estimated 67 million people will be affected by 2030. With the combination of inactivity, obesity, injury and the aging of Americans, the rising prevalence of osteoarthritis, the most common form, is expected to escalate the severe health and economic effects of this disease.

"Fortunately, there are simple steps everyone can take that will make a big difference. Just a small amount of weight loss and 30 minutes of daily physical activity can help reduce arthritis pain, increase mobility and lead toward a more active, independent life," said Dr. Patience White, vice president of public health for the Arthritis Foundation.

In an effort to encourage all Americans to take simple steps that will prevent or decrease the pain and disability of osteoarthritis, the Arthritis Foundation joined the Ad Council to launch the Fight Awareness Pain campaign. The new multimedia campaign demonstrates that "moving is the best medicine" and features messages about the importance of physical activity and weight reduction in preventing and managing the pain associated with osteoarthritis.

The Arthritis Foundation offers the following tips to prevent and decrease the pain and disability of osteoarthritis.

-- Make movement a daily routine. Incorporate exercise into your daily
life, even if you only add a daily walk of 15 to 30 minutes. If pain
or being overweight makes it difficult to exercise, try one of the
Arthritis Foundation's Life Improvement Series Programs, which apply
less stress to joints.
-- Control your weight. For every one pound you lose, that's four pounds
of pressure off each knee. Losing as little as 11 pounds may reduce
joint pain and help prevent knee osteoarthritis. For those already
living with arthritis symptoms, losing 15 pounds can cut knee pain in
half.
-- Know your risks. Although heredity and other factors can put a person
at risk for developing osteoarthritis, a healthy lifestyle can play a
significant role in preventing and successfully managing
osteoarthritis. Find out your risk for osteoarthritis and get a
personalized plan to reduce your risks at fightarthritispain.org.

National Arthritis Awareness Month Action

The Arthritis Foundation is encouraging people with arthritis and the many more at risk to make physical activity part of their daily routine. To get started, go to fightarthritispain.org. Then, celebrate National Arthritis Awareness Month and your commitment to move at an Arthritis Walk event. Visit letsmovetogether.org to find an Arthritis Walk in your community and for a movement tracker to set goals and stay on track.

The Arthritis Foundation (www.arthritis.org) is the leading health organization addressing the needs of the 46 million Americans, including 300,000 children, living with arthritis, the nation's most common cause of disability. The Foundation helps individuals take control of arthritis by providing public health education; pursuing public policy and legislation; supporting research and conducting evidence-based programs to improve the quality of life for those living with arthritis.

The Ad Council (www.adcouncil.org) is a private, non-profit organization that marshals talent from the advertising and communications industries, the facilities of the media, and the resources of the business and non-profit communities to produce, distribute and promote public service campaigns on behalf of non-profit organizations and government agencies. The Ad Council addresses issue areas such as improving the quality of life for children, preventive health, education, community well-being, environmental preservation and strengthening families.

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