For Immediate Release
May 3, 2011

KDHE Office of Communications
communications@kdheks.gov, 785-296-0461

Physical Activity Key to Decreasing Arthritis Pain

TOPEKA, KS – May is National Arthritis Awareness month and a great time to take action to manage the symptoms of arthritis.  Although nearly 509,000 adults in Kansas who have arthritis are painfully aware of their symptoms, many still do not know there is something they can do about it.

“Being more physically active is probably the single best thing a person with arthritis can do to reduce and manage their pain,” said Dr. Robert Moser, Secretary, Kansas Department of Health and Environment. “Even with small increments of increased physical activity, a person with arthritis can decrease their pain, increase their flexibility and get a better night’s sleep.”

As part of National Arthritis Awareness Month in May, Kansans who have pain and activity limitations due to arthritis are encouraged to work with their physician to become more physically active. Research has shown that pain and activity limitations can be reduced with 30 minutes a day of physical activity most days of the week. 

The Kansas Arthritis Program, in collaboration with the Arthritis Foundation, is launching a new program designed to help people with arthritis and other chronic conditions manage their joint pain and improve their health. The Arthritis Foundation Walk with Ease Program is designed to encourage people with and without arthritis to get started walking and stay motivated to keep active anytime of the year.

Two different formats of the program are available; a group format led by a trained leader that meets three times per week or an on-line version, geared to individual participants, with on-line support provided through video instruction, a message board and e-mail prompts. May is the perfect time to get outside and add some physical activity to your day to help reduce or manage the pain associated with arthritis or other chronic conditions.

Research continues to support the benefits for people to be more physically active, including those persons with arthritis. Scientific studies have shown that participation in moderate-intensity, low-impact physical activity improves pain, function, mood and quality of life without worsening symptoms or disease severity. Being physically active can also delay the onset of disability if you have arthritis.

For more information on Walk with Ease and other physical activity programs for individuals with arthritis go to: www.kdheks.gov/arthritis.