May is Arthritis Awareness Month, an opportunity to draw attention to the more than 54 million U.S. adults affected by this condition.

Being physically active, maintaining a healthy weight, or taking a self-management course can reduce arthritis pain and improve quality of life. Studies show that adults with arthritis who participate in CDC-recommended evidence-based physical activity programs (such as Walk With Ease and EnhanceFitness®) and self-management education programs (such as the Chronic Disease Self-Management Program) may experience reduced pain or improved physical function. EnhanceFitness® has been found in at least one study to reduce yearly health care costs for participants by about $1,000 per person.

Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report: State-specific severe joint pain and physical inactivity among adults with arthritis — Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, United States, 2017,

Please Consider Using the Following Social Media Messaging
Twitter:
  • A new @CDCgov report found about half of adults w/ #arthritis and severe joint pain are physically inactive.
  • Clinicians: Know what resources you can give your #arthritis patients to help them increase their physical activity.
  • The prevalence of arthritis is highest among American Indian/Alaska Natives.
  • Physical activity relieves pain, yet almost half of adults w/ arthritis and severe joint pain are physically inactive.
Facebook:
  • Physical activity is a proven pain-reliever for arthritis. However, almost half (47%) of adults with arthritis and severe joint pain are not physically active. Read more in this week’s MMWR.
  • Arthritis, and severe joint pain and physical in activity among adults with arthritis, were common and ranged widely across states. Arthritis and physical inactivity were more common in rural areas.
  • Healthcare providers can counsel their arthritis patients on how to safely exercise to increase physical activity and ease arthritis pain with few side effects.
Draft Talking Points
Key Findings:
  • Among the 54 million US adults with arthritis, severe joint pain and physical inactivity are linked to physical limitations, such as holding a cup, lifting a grocery bag, or walking to their car.
  • Nearly half (47.0%) of adults with arthritis and severe joint pain reported being physically inactive.
  • Severe joint pain or physical inactivity among adults with arthritis is twice as high in some states than others (range 21% to 45%, and 23% to 44%, respectively), and is higher in more rural areas.
  • Among racial/ethnic groups the prevalence of arthritis alone is highest in American Indian/Alaska Natives.
  • Being physically active, maintaining a healthy weight, or taking a self-management course can reduce arthritis pain and improve quality of life.
Resources: