Creating a Community Walking Group

Walking is a good activity for persons with arthritis, especially those just starting out, and can double as a fun, social activity. Creating a walking group within your community can be a powerful motivator for its members to begin or continue a physically active lifestyle.  A community can be found in any group, be that a workplace, a faith-based group, or any other shared interest!

Use the community walking guides below to help you successfully launch a walking group.  Find the right one for your community and get started today!:

For Older Adults:
These guides were created for older adults, with considerations specific for those over 50

“Moving Ahead – Strategies And Tools To Plan, Conduct, And Maintain Effective Community-Based Physical Activity Programs For Older Adults: A Brief Guide” CDC Prevention Research Centers-Healthy Aging Research Network (PRC-HAN)

“Create the Good: Walking Group Toolkit” American Association for Retired Persons (AARP)
This toolkit can used by individuals, organizations or community groups to start a walking group for persons over age 50.

For Everyone:
If your community would do better to include members of all ages, these guides might work for you!

“Starting a Walking Program” American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM)
This 2-page fact sheet from is a good place to start

“Mall Walking Guide” The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
For a community who prefers an indoor walking setting, or as a plan for bad weather, this may be the right walking program for your group

“National Walking Day How-To-Guide” American Heart Association (AHA)
Take advantage of the excitement of National Walking Day and this straightforward toolkit to get your group started on walking for health. This site also links to several resources to get your group started with a 4-week walking program

Workplace settings:
The workplace is another great place to find a ready-made community to rally around becoming more healthy through physical activity.

“Walking Program Toolkit for the Workplace” Washoe Country Chronic Disease Coalition

Walking for Workforce Health Toolkit Kaiser Permanente Workforce Health

Worksite Walking Campaign Tools Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
Additional resources for creating and supporting walking groups at work

Additional Walking Resources:

Find a useful guide for creating walking trails here, from American Trails.

“Everybody Walk!”
Looking for something to motivate your group?  This 30-minute documentary film explores what a regular walking routine can bring to your life and community.”

The Arthritis Foundation – “Walking with Arthritis” – The Arthritis Foundation has a great resource area on their website, with tips for stretching, planning the right walking routine for you, and even finding the right foot wear. Check it out and get started! (español)

Keep an eye out for ENACT’s Arthritis Community Exercise Toolkit – under development now!