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GET UP AND MOVE! May is Arthritis Awareness Month - The Perfect Time to Learn the Importance of Staying Active
Date:5/2/2008

ATLANTA, May 2 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Today, one in five Americans suffers from the pain of arthritis. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) projects that by the year 2030, 67 million people in the U.S. will live with arthritis, up from current estimates of 46 million. Arthritis can be a painful, life-impacting condition, but its effects may be lessened through physical activity.

Physical activity, such as walking, is crucial in preventing and managing the nation's most common cause of disability. In fact, the Arthritis Foundation says Americans cannot afford to be inactive. This simple, inexpensive activity can help achieve and maintain a healthy weight and reduce the risk of arthritis.

"Physical activity is a natural pain reliever for most people suffering from arthritis," said Patience White, M.D., chief public health officer, Arthritis Foundation. "Walking just 10 minutes, three times a day can ease joint pain, improve mobility and reduce fatigue often associated with arthritis."

As the organization celebrates its 60th anniversary, the Arthritis Foundation is working to inform the public of the benefits of walking to ease the pain of arthritis or prevent some forms from developing. In addition to causing pain, disability and loss of independence, arthritis exacts a hefty financial toll on the U.S. economy, costing the nation $128 annually.

"The prevalence of obesity continues to rise even though it can often be prevented by staying active through simple activities such as walking," said White. "A weight loss of 15 pounds can decrease the pain due to osteoarthritis by 50 percent."

May is Arthritis Awareness Month and to get Americans moving, each year the Arthritis Foundation hosts Arthritis Walk events around the country designed to educate Americans about the health benefits of walking while raising critical funds to fight arthritis. To sign up for Arthritis Walk events, visit http://www.arthritis.org. For a free copy of the Arthritis Today Walking Guide, including tips on getting started, staying injury-free and keeping it all fun, call 800-283-7800 or visit http://www.arthritis.org.

About the Arthritis Foundation

The Arthritis Foundation is the leading health organization addressing the needs of some 46 million Americans living with arthritis, the nation's most common cause of disability. Founded in 1948, with headquarters in Atlanta, the Arthritis Foundation has multiple service points located throughout the country.

The Arthritis Foundation is the largest private, not-for-profit contributor to arthritis research in the world, funding more than $380 million in research grants since 1948. Celebrating its 60th anniversary this year, the foundation helps individuals take control of arthritis by providing public health education; pursuing public policy and legislation; and conducting evidence-based programs to improve the quality of life for those living with arthritis. Information is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week at 1-800-283-7800 or http://www.arthritis.org.


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SOURCE Arthritis Foundation
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