Community-Based Physical Activity Arthritis Programs
By 2040, 1 in 4 Americans will have arthritis, 1 in 10 will experience a disability because of the condition, and—if things don’t improve—many will receive treatment from community-based programs that, more often than not, fail to recommend exercise and education as a first-line approach.
In a published article in Arthritis and Rheumatology, the authors wrote:
“Because no disease-modifying treatment is available, patient education and self-management interventions, exercises, and weight loss are the cornerstones of OA management,”
- In 2010-2012, 22.7% of US adults were estimated to have doctor-diagnosed arthritis, based on “yes” responses to the question, “Have you ever been told by a doctor or other health professional that you have some form of arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, gout, lupus, or fibromyalgia?”
- Researchers estimate that during the same 2010-2012 time period, 9.8% of US adults reported arthritis-attributable activity limitations (AAAL), based on a “yes” response to the question, “Are you limited in any of your usual activities because of arthritis or joint symptoms?”
Arthritis prevalence is projected to increase by 49%, to 25.9% of all adults by 2040 (78.4 million).
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has reviewed the evidence and identified several community-based physical activity programs shown to help people manage arthritis and related chronic conditions outside a therapeutic setting. American Physical Therapy Program (APTA) also supports the use of these programs as part of patient care.
Arthritis Foundation Aquatic Program (.pdf)
A group exercise program where participants learn safe stretching, breathing, endurance, and balance activities. Check the Arthritis Foundation class list for current locations.
Arthritis Foundation Exercise Program (.pdf)
A gentle, warm water exercise program held at local pools. The program is now supported by the Aquatic
Exercise Association. Active Living Every Day (.pdf)
A program that encourages people who are sedentary to make exercise part of daily life by developing their own individual exercise plans. Use the course locator to find a program near you.
Fit and Strong (.pdf)
An exercise program for people with knee or hip osteoarthritis that teaches practical exercise to help with everyday activities. Check the map of locations for a program near you.
Walk With Ease (.pdf)
A program—done as a group or on your own—which guides you in how to start walking safely and stick with it. To find instructor-led programs in your area, call 800/283-7800 or contact the Arthritis Foundation office in your state. Self-directed course materials can be ordered from the Arthritis Foundation Online Store.