Arthritis Foundation


About the Organization:

The Arthritis Foundation is the only national not-for-profit organization that supports the more than 100 types of arthritis and related conditions with advocacy, programs, services and research.

Contact Info:

Resources on Aging and Physical Activity:

Arthritis Today’s 2003 Walking Guide
The walking guide provides a walking checklist, safety tips, and how to make walking a habit.

How to Care for Yourself
Ways to make living with arthritis easier.

Think You Can’t Exercise? You Can!
An article in Arthritis Today addresses concerns and excuses about exercise.

Water exercise
Water is a safe, ideal environment for relieving arthritis pain.

Walking and Arthritis
A fact sheet on getting started and keeping it fun.

Gardening and Arthritis
Gardening is a great activity for maintaining joint flexibility, bone density and range of motion.

Joints in Motion
Joints in Motion is the Arthritis Foundation’s athletic training program in which members are trained to run or walk a marathon or hike a challenging trail.

Exercise and Arthritis
This free publication is available from the Arthritis Foundation. Publication discusses benefits and types of exercise, how to get started and how to keep going.

New Arthritis Programs to Promote Physical Activity

Overview: 31% of Americans aged 50 or older suffer from arthritis. Musculoskelatal conditions (arthritis and related disease) affect 53.935 million Americans resulting in an annual economic impact of $193 billion dollars or 2.5% of the GDP (indirect and direct costs). In addition to people who solely battle arthritis, many others who have arthritis along with other chronic care diseases are unable to participate in the necessary level of physical activity because of the pain and limitations caused by arthritis.

The Arthritis Foundation has developed physical activity programs that empower individuals, populations and communities to promote good health and healthy behaviors that will prevent the onset of and/or mitigate the disability associated with arthritis.

The Arthritis Foundation has developed the following short-term (initiated within the next twelve months) programs, offered nationwide, to increase the physical activity of those aged 50 or older:

Tai Chi, which is growing in popularity, is often prescribed as part of a comprehensive treatment plan for arthritis as well as other chronic diseases such as cancer, heart disease, diabetes and hypertension. The Tai Chi from the Arthritis Foundation program is based on the Sun style version of Tai Chi and has been shown to improve pain, stiffness and lifestyle for people with arthritis.

The Arthritis Foundation has designed a yoga course, specifically for those with arthritis and related chronic disease. The result is empowerment of individuals to take control of their health maintenance and recovery to improve their quality of life.

Long-Range Goals:
As Arthritis Foundation Chapters develop additional market-driven programs to increase the physical activity of those aged 50 or older, these programs will eventually evolve into wellness centers, targeted at Americans over 50 and individuals with chronic care issues. In addition to physical activities, additional services/programs planned include nutritional and weight loss programs, pain management, etc. It is expected that some “centers” will be independent, while others will be in collaboration with other providers.

Scientific, quantifiable evaluation studies are anticipated for each program in order to identify which strategies make the most significant impact. Various Arthritis Foundation exercise programs have demonstrated the following outcomes:

– Reduced physician visits by 40% (ASHC)
– Increased social activity by 27% (PACE®)
– Increased function by 25% (AFYAP)
– Reduced pain by 60% (PACE®)
– Reduced ER visits by 13% (PACE®)
– Decreased stiffness by 48% (PACE®)
– Reduced depression by 19% (PACE®)
– Increased self-reported health 70% (PACE®)

Contact: David Anderson, PhD, Arthritis Foundation, or (404) 965-7652