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Reducing arthritis exercise barriers

May 17, 2012 at 9:45 AM

WASHINGTON, May 17 (UPI) -- Officials of the Arthritis Foundation said they have developed a resource for making physical activity convenient and accessible for adults with arthritis.

Dr. John H. Koppel, president of the Arthritis Foundation, said the Environmental and Policy Strategies to Increase Physical Activity Among Adults with Arthritis is a resource for making physical activity convenient and accessible.

The report outlines strategies in six key sectors, including: parks, recreation, fitness and sports; business and industry; community and public health; healthcare, and transportation, land use and community design in providing physical activity opportunities that meet the needs of people with arthritis.

Arthritis affects 50 million U.S. adults -- more than 20 percent of the adult population -- but high rates of arthritis among people with other chronic diseases, such as diabetes and heart disease, make physical activity an important component of chronic disease management.

People living with arthritis have disease-specific barriers to being physically active including pain, fear of making their arthritis worse, lack of knowledge about the best type and amount of exercise and fear of injury. However, physical activity has been proved to help decrease pain, delay the onset of disability, improve physical functioning and independence, and enhance mood and quality of life for adults with arthritis, Koppel said.

For more information on arthritis, including tools for promoting the initiative, visit www.arthritis.org/physical-activity.

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