ENACT Contributes to New Arthritis Foundation and CDC Report on Arthritis and Physical Activity

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July 2nd, 2012

Over the course of the past year, ENACT Center Director and respected arthritis expert Dr. Julie Keysor participated in roundtable discussions and critical reviews of efforts by the Arthritis Foundation and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) to develop a comprehensive report of environmental and policy recommendations for physical activity and arthritis.  Please read on to learn more about these efforts from the Arthritis Foundation:

Arthritis Foundation Calls For Efforts To Boost Physical Activity Among People With Arthritis

As the nation’s most common cause of disability, arthritis affects 50 million adults in the United States—more than 20 percent of the adult population. And this number is expected to grow as the population of older Americans and number of obese Americans continues to increase.

Physical activity is a vital intervention for arthritis that decreases pain; delays the start of disability; improves muscle strength, mobility, mood and independence; and enhances quality of life. High rates of arthritis among people with other chronic diseases—such as diabetes, heart disease and obesity—for which physical activity is important, increases the value of physical activity as a tool for managing arthritis. Yet, adults with arthritis are less likely to be physically activity than are those without arthritis, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Arthritis is a serious and painful joint disease that often causes weakness and places severe limits on daily activities from opening a jar to holding a job. With the combination of inactivity, obesity, injury and the aging of our popula­tion, the prevalence, health impact and economic consequences of arthritis are expected to rise dramatically. Physical activity for those living with arthritis can be daunting because of the pain they live with everyday, but mov­ing may be the answer when looking for ways to minimize arthritis pain.

In order to dramatically reduce the impact of arthritis, the Arthritis Foundation recently released a report focused on changes that could be made within six important sectors to make physical activity feasible for individuals with arthritis. Environmental and Policy Strategies to Increase Physical Activity Among Adults With Arthritis is the result of an effort by the Arthritis Foundation and 30 stakeholders to identify and prioritize strategies to increase physical activity with the aim of reducing the impact of arthritis.

The report is a comprehensive resource that calls on leaders and organizations in community and public health; health care professionals; transportation, land use and community design; business and industry; park, recreation, fitness and sport; and mass media and communication to help meet the goals of the National Physical Activity Plan for adults with arthritis.

Numerous stakeholder groups across the country, including the Boston University Center for Enhancing Activity and Participation Among Persons with Arthritis (ENACT), will be working with the Arthritis Foundation and its chapters to implement the strategies outlined in this report.

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